EIB, EBRD and EU finance improvements to water services in Moldova

Feb 14, 2014

€59 million in loans to modernise water and waste water management in Chisinau.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Union, through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility, are joining forces to support the modernisation of water and waste water infrastructure in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. The EBRD and the EIB will each provide loans of EUR 24 million to the city’s water and wastewater utility S.A. Apa Canal Chisinau, while the EU will contribute a EUR 11 million grant.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said "Clean water is essential for life. Investment in the Chisinau city water system will significantly improve the quality of drinking water, reduce leaks and enhance waste water treatment. This new joint engagement by the EIB and EBRD reflects our complementary strengths, combining experience of upgrading water networks across Europe and supporting implementation in Moldova. We further welcome European Union support for the scheme, both through a detailed evaluation of investment needs and grant support to be provided for the investment programme from Neighbourhood Investment Facility. The Chisinau water project is truly a flagship demonstrating Europe’s long-term partnership with Moldova."

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said at the signing of the project in Chisinau today: "This is a very significant investment programme. Its significance lies not only on the considerable amount of money involved, but also in the impact it will have on people’s lives. It is an outstanding example of how international financial institutions and the European Union are working together."

The funds will be used to finance the extension, rehabilitation and modernisation of the water and wastewater infrastructure. The upgrade programme will improve the efficiency of the city’s water network, save energy and contribute towards future compliance with relevant EU directives.

The existing water network in Chisinau, a city of 800,000 inhabitants, is no longer adequate to meet the city’s demands. Due to a lack of investment key parts of the network are in urgent need of refurbishment. Investment planned under the new upgrade programme will reduce water loss, improve water quality and reduce health risks.

The Ambassador of the European Union to Moldova, Pirkka Tapiola, added: "This important programme will enable Apa Canal Chisinau to enhance operating efficiencies, quality of customer services and reduce environmental impacts in its service area in Chisinau. The EU supported the preparatory phase of this programme by providing EUR 3 million for a feasibility study and continues its support also to the implementation of construction and rehabilitation works by providing an investment grant of EUR 11 million. The EU grant combined with loans from the EBRD and EIB facilitates the implementation of the required upgrades of the water supply and sanitation systems with low loan burden on the citizens of Chisinau."

Since 2007, the EIB and the EBRD have jointly financed 9 projects worth a total of €674 million on an equal basis. These have supported investment in diverse sectors including from road rehabilitation, public transport, power transmission network rehabilitation modernisation, as well as in water services.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova and to date has signed over 100 investments in the country, covering the energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, and totalling almost EUR 900 million.

Moldova is an important partner for the EIB in the Eastern Neighbourhood region, with the highest EIB lending volume per capita. Since the start of EIB lending in Moldova in 2007 more than EUR 450 million has been provided in long-term loans including support for improved roads and public transport, water, energy and agriculture.

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