A €5.0 million loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is set to fundamentally improve the handling of wastewater in the Bosnian municipality of Cazin. The funds, which have been extended to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and on-lent to the public utility company, JKP Vodovod Cazin, will be used to finance the expansion of the wastewater collection network and the construction of a wastewater treatment plant. Co-financing grants of up to €6.0 million are currently being considered by international donors.
The municipality has an estimated population of 70,000 who will benefit from the investment. The investment programme will reduce burdens on the environment and, through infrastructure development, facilitate the economic development of the municipality. Cazin is located in the Una-Sana Canton in the north-west part of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the border with Croatia.
Technical cooperation funds of €350,000, provided by the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund, have been mobilised to help develop a binding Public Service Contract (PSC) between the Cazin municipality and the utility JKP for the establishment of a commercial and professional basis. The contract will include the rebalancing of tariffs in order to eliminate cross subsidies between households and commercial consumers. The European Western Balkans Joint Fund supported the project preparation with €296,970 for a feasibility study.
Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the EBRD, said: “This project represents an important step forward in the infrastructure development of the Cazin municipality. As it combines benefits for the population, the environment and the local economy its success will serve as an example for all of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
Nikola Spiric, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Minister of Finance and Treasury, said: “First of all, this project will contribute to improved quality of utility services in the Cazin municipality and it will have a strong environmental impact, not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in neighbouring municipalities in the Republic of Croatia. We are glad that the EBRD also managed to mobilise significant grant funds for this project.”
To date, the EBRD has invested more than €1.5 billion, in some 100 projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a focus on infrastructure development, support for small and medium-sized enterprises and strengthening the financial sector.