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EBRD helps Romanian counties improve their water and wastewater operations

By Olga Rosca

Wastewater treatment facility

To date, the EBRD has financed 24 water operators in Romania, providing a total of €330 million in loans and mobilising over €2 billion of EU funding for the country’s water and wastewater facilities.

The European Union (EU) Cohesion Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are continuing their efforts to modernise and upgrade water and wastewater services in Romania.

The EBRD is extending a new €10 million loan to SC Raja SA Constanta, one of the largest water utilities in Romania. The company operates in the counties of Constanta and Ialomita with a growing presence in Calarasi, Dambovita and Ilfov. The company is an existing EBRD client that received a €33 million loan in 2010 to finance investments primarily in the county of Constanta. Today the company serves over 730,000 residents.

The EBRD loan is being provided alongside EU Cohesion Funds of €47.5 million. The investment will increase access to clean water and improve sewerage services in the region. As a result, over 10,000 people will receive access to a safe water supply through extended water networks and nearly 20,000 people will be connected to sewerage networks in 17 towns and villages across the counties of Constanta, Ialomita and Ilfov. The project will also support investments in wastewater networks and will ensure that quality water supply services are available in smaller localities in Ilfov county, which is also serviced by SC Raja SA Constanta.

Signing the new transaction EBRD Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, Jean-Patrick Marquet, said: “SC Raja SA Constanta has made strong progress in consolidating as a regional operator. It has considerably extended its service area, first to the county of Ialomita and more recently running operations in smaller, less-developed localities in Calarasi, Dambovita and Ilfov counties neighbouring Constanta. We are pleased to provide further financing to ensure that more people can benefit from the water and wastewater services supplied by the company, ensuring important environmental benefits.”

Felix Stroe, General Manager of SC Raja SA Constanta, said: “The long-standing collaboration between SC Raja SA and the EBRD has developed over time into a trustworthy partnership. The two institutions have worked together in guaranteeing the successful implementation of ambitious national infrastructure programmes. Through various projects developed by the EBRD, SC Raja SA efficiently manages infrastructure assets for the entire lifecycle – water catchment, distribution and treatment – to ensure the optimum provision of water services for the well-being of the population and of the environment.”

This EBRD loan is the 23rd investment under the Romania EU Cohesion Fund Water Co-Financing Framework (R2CF), launched in 2010. The facility was originally approved in November 2010, with a volume of €200 million, and further increased by €130 million in September 2012 following strong local demand. To date, the EBRD has mobilised approximately €2 billion of EU funding in Romania’s water and wastewater facilities.

The Bank is the largest institutional investor in Romania. Since the start of its operations in the country, the EBRD has invested approximately €6.7 billion over 364 projects in the country. The Bank has further mobilised over €14 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.

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