EBRD modernises water and wastewater facilities in BiH town of Gradačac

By Viktorija Melohina


Bank and donors improve water supply in municipality
 
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is improving the water supply and modernising wastewater treatment facilities in the municipality of Gradačac in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a sovereign loan of up to €6 million.
 
The financing will help the public utility company, JKP Komunalac Gradačac, currently servicing roughly 20,000 inhabitants, to expand the water supply network to rural areas effectively doubling the size of its catchment area. The EBRD funds will be used to replace dilapidated water mains to reduce water losses, expand the wastewater system and modernise the existing wastewater treatment plant.
 
As part of the project, the company will also take steps to improve its business performance, ensuring better monitoring of its individual operations, introducing full-cost recovery tariffs and eliminating cross subsidies among various groups of consumers.
 
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) provided investment grant funding of up to €1.4 million for the expansion of the wastewater network. The Czech Government is supporting the project with €1 million of grant funding to improve the operational standards of the municipality and align its practices to EU directives.
 
“The EBRD is very pleased to sign these agreements today which will help to reduce losses and improve the quality and reliability of the water supply to the citizens of Gradačac. This is an important step towards meeting EU standards in this vital area of municipal infrastructure”, said Ian Brown, the Head of EBRD’s Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 
“This is a very important step in our cooperation with the EBRD. We are pleased to have such a strong partner helping us improve our services. The funding will allow us expand our supply across rural areas and deliver clean water to many more houses in Gradačac”, added Damir Okanovic, General Manager of JKP Komunalac Gradačac.
 
“Our special thanks go to the governments of Sweden and the Czech Republic whose generous grant co-financing is playing such a key role in  the development of this important municipal infrastructure investment”, said Nikola Špirić, the Minister of Finance and Treasury of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 
Since the start of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than €1.6 billion in more than 110 projects in the country. The Bank invests in infrastructure development, support for small and medium-sized enterprises and the strengthening of the financial sector.