New ?200 million framework to support modernisation of water utilities in Romania

Dec 16, 2010

€33 million to improve water infrastructure in Constanta and Ialomita

The EBRD is supporting the further modernisation and regionalisation of water utilities in Romania with a €200 million co-financing framework that will allow municipalities to utilise grant funding from the European Union’s Cohesion Fund. Through the new facility - Regional EU Cohesion Fund Co-financing Framework (R2CF) – the Bank is creating a financing instrument that will support critical investments in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure, helping Romanian utilities to align their services to EU environmental standards. Under the framework, the EBRD will provide financing to water utilities on a non-recourse basis, demonstrating its strong confidence in the sector.

It is estimated that the €200 million framework will mobilise additional investments of close to €1.5 billion in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure. The EBRD will work with the Romanian Water Association to promote sector-wide performance monitoring and service improvements through a benchmarking programme for water operators in Romania.

SC Raja SA Constanta, one of the largest water utilities in Romania, operating in the counties of Constanta and Ialomita, is the first beneficiary under the new framework. The company provides water and wastewater services to over 500,000 people in the south-eastern part of the country. The EBRD is providing the company with a €33 million loan that will be used to part-finance the extension and rehabilitation of water supply and wastewater collection systems in a total of 24 localities in the two counties. The investment is co-financed by €145 million from the EU’s Cohesion Fund. Upon the completion of the investment project, the entire population of Constanta county and 98 percent of Ialomita county will have access to EU compliant drinking water services. In addition it will also significantly increase the coverage of wastewater collection services in the two counties.

“The EBRD’s new Regional EU Cohesion Fund Co-financing framework builds on the Bank’s track record in supporting water sector reforms in Romania, as well as its long and successful partnership with SC Raja SA Constanta. This project will support the completion of regionalisation of water and wastewater services in Constanta and Ialomita counties. Most importantly it will facilitate further availability of safe and quality water services in the country”, said Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure.

“This project marks another important step for SC Raja SA Constanta to improve water and wastewater services for the people in our beautiful City, the Black Sea coast and the counties of Constanta and Ialomita. The project will help to protect our environment for future generations and is the recognition of all the hard work by the Company, the City, the County, the Intercommunity Development Association, the Romanian Water Association, the Ministry of the Environment and the European Union. The company, as well as other utilities in Romania have benefited from the firm support of the EBRD in the past and now look forward to continuing our excellent partnership in the future”, said Mr Felix Stroe, General Manager and President of Administrative Board of SC Raja SA Constanta.

Previously the EBRD provided financing to 18 water utilities in Romania, helping to mobilise close to €500 million in pre-accession grant funding from the EU. Since the beginning of its operations in Romania the EBRD has committed over €4.8 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, which attracted additional investment of €9 billion.

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