EBRD helps Belgrade to improve water supply

By Viktorija Melohina

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EBRD helps Belgrade to improve water supply

€13 million to finance essential upgrades to water facilities
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is financing critical water supply improvements for the Serbian capital, Belgrade, with a loan of up to €13 million.
The transaction between the EBRD and the Belgrade Water Company will help this public utility, which serves approximately 1.5 million residents, to increase its operational efficiency.
The loan is being extended in two tranches: a committed tranche of up to €8.5 million and an uncommitted tranche of up to €4.5 million. The proceeds of the first tranche will be used to fund improvements in the water supply system, in particular the construction of two new pipelines to distribute raw water from the Sava River to the Makis water treatment plant, the removal of sediment from Belgrade’s main water reservoir and the relining of a water pipeline to transfer raw water from water-collection wells to an existing treatment plant. The second tranche – subject to a feasibility study and further due diligence – will be used to refurbish Belgrade’s main water-treatment plant, Makis I.
Additional grant funding for this project is being provided by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund and  Austria, for a total amount of €795,000.
“We are proud to support the improvement of Belgrade’s water supply and services and to be at the forefront of institutional reform in the municipal sector. The EBRD is pleased to continue a very constructive partnership with the City of Belgrade in a diversified range of sectors,” said EBRD Director for Serbia, Matteo Patrone.
“Through this project we are helping Belgrade to improve its water supply services - increasing access to a high-quality supply of drinking water will bring substantial environmental and public health benefits” said EBRD Deputy Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, Lin O’Grady.
“The maintenance of a high-quality water supply is imperative for the City of Belgrade, and we commend the public utility company, Belgrade Waterworks and Sewerage, for its strategic efforts to develop better water infrastructure. The EBRD is a key partner in this sector,” added the Mayor of Belgrade, Siniša B. Mali.
“This is a very important project for the Belgrade Water Company. We are pleased to have the EBRD finance these investments because we see the Bank as our long-term partner. This project will enhance our capacity to deliver services of a high standard,” commented General Manager of the Belgrade Waterworks and Sewerage Company, Svetozar Veselinović.
Since the start of its operations in Serbia, the EBRD has invested more than €3.8 billion in 187 projects across the country. The Bank invests in the financial sector, industry, commerce, agribusiness, energy and infrastructure.
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