Following similar EBRD investments in seven other Romanian counties in the past year, the EBRD is supporting the modernisation of water infrastructure in Bistrita-Nasaud county in north-western Romania with a RON 33 million loan (approximately €7.8 million) to SC Aquabis S.A water utility company.
Extended under the EBRD’s Regional EU Cohesion Fund Co-financing Framework (R2CF), the loan will be used to co-finance the company’s RON 344 million EU Cohesion Fund regional investment programme.
The EBRD funds will part-finance the construction, extension and rehabilitation of water supply and wastewater treatment systems in Bistrita-Nasaud county. This will allow SC Aquabis S.A to reduce significantly water leakages, optimise operating costs and bring its wastewater collection and treatment system in line with EU regulations and standards.
The project will enable the company to extend its coverage from 84 per cent to 98 per cent for drinking water and from 60 per cent to 91 per cent for wastewater by 2013, bringing a safe water supply and sanitation services to over 134,000 residents of Bistrita-Nasaud county.
“The EBRD’s support is key in facilitating the absorption of the EU funds for infrastructure upgrades in Romania. Through this new investment the Bank is continuing to support the modernisation of water services in the country, helping to improve the quality of water supply and wastewater services and align them with EU standards,” said Claudia Pendred, Director of the EBRD’s office in Bucharest.
“We are delighted to continue our successful cooperation with the EBRD through this new project. The EBRD financing will help us utilise the available funding from the EU with the overall goal to raise the standards of water supply in Bistrita-Nasaud and increase the access to water services in the region,” said Ion Sandru, Director of SC Aquabis S.A.
The EBRD loan is supported by €765,000 in grant financing for technical assistance provided by the Spanish government and the Bank’s Shareholder Special Fund.
R2CF is a €200 million EBRD framework launched in 2010 to support investments in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure and help municipalities absorb the financing available from EU Cohesion Funds.
Bistrita-Nasaud is the eighth county in Romania supported by the framework, following similar investments in Braila, Brasov, Buzau, Constanta, Dambovita, Iasi and Sibiu counties. It is estimated that the framework will mobilise additional investments of approximately €1.5 billion in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
Since the beginning of its operations in Romania, the EBRD has committed over €5.4 billion to various sectors of the country’s economy.