Residents of the Romanian county of Iaşi will gain access to clean water with the support of a €22 million loan provided by the EBRD to ApaVital Iaşi. The funds will be used to part-finance the extension and rehabilitation of water supply and wastewater collection systems in 16 locations across the county. The project is part of the EU Cohesion Funds programme for Iaşi, worth a total of €136 million.
ApaVital Iaşi, one of the largest water utilities in Romania, provides water and wastewater services to the City of Iaşi and a number of towns and villages in the county, with a total population of over 800,000. Under the modernisation programme 90 per cent of the county’s population will be serviced by a wastewater collection and treatment system which is compliant with EU regulations and standards.
The EBRD loan is part of the €200 million Regional EU Cohesion Fund Water Co-Financing Framework (R2CF) set up by the Bank in order to help Romanian municipalities benefit from the financing available from EU Cohesion Funds. Technical cooperation support for the project is provided by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.
“We are very pleased to continue to support Romanian municipalities in improving their infrastructure and absorb efficiently EU Cohesion funds. This project will bring significant benefits to the citizens of Iaşi county, raising the standards of water supply and wastewater services. The investment is supporting environmental improvements and the regionalisation of water and wastewater services in line with the EU standards and at affordable tariffs”, said Jean-Patrick Marquet, director of Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure at EBRD.
“This project is a continuation of our long standing cooperation with the EBRD that started in 1995. The Bank’s support helped Iaşi water company strengthen its institutional capacity, enabling us to currently attract financing without local guarantees, solely based on the financial performance of the company”, said Ion Toma, General Manager of ApaVital Iaşi.
The Regional EU Cohesion Fund Co-financing Framework was launched in 2010 to support critical investments in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure, helping local utilities to bring their services up to EU environmental standards. Under the framework, the EBRD provides financing to water utilities. It is estimated that the framework will mobilise additional investments of close to €1.5 billion in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
Since the beginning of its operations in Romania, the EBRD has committed over €5 billion to various sectors of the country’s economy.