Over 400,000 residents of the Romanian Timis county will gain access to safe and improved water supply and sanitation services with the support of a €15.5 million loan provided by the EBRD to Aquatim 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 €118.9 million EU Cohesion Fund regional investment programme for upgrading water and wastewater services.
The EBRD loan will part-finance the extension and rehabilitation of the water supply and wastewater treatment network and the construction of new wastewater facilities in seven towns and two communes across Timis county in western Romania.
The investment will improve the quality of water supply and wastewater services and will allow Aquatim S.A. to reduce water leakages and optimise operating costs.
“This is the Bank’s third loan to Aquatim, which demonstrates our confidence in the company. Whereas our first loan was guaranteed by the government, the current loan is without any guarantee at all, relying entirely on Aquatim’s credit standing. With this new loan, the EBRD will continue to support regionalisation as well as the modernisation of water services in Romanian regions and to facilitate the absorption of the EU funds for infrastructure upgrades. This investment will improve water services in Timis county, bringing them in line with the EU standards,” said Jean-Patrick Marquet, the Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure at EBRD.
"Under the current economic conditions, when four out of five companies fail to obtain a loan, it is a great achievement for Aquatim to be granted such a significant loan, without any guarantee except the economic performance of the company. Signing this loan contract with the EBRD will secure the co-financing of the largest European-funded investments project in Timis county," added Ilie Vlaicu, General Director of Aquatim.
The EBRD loan is supported by over €768,700 in grant financing for technical assistance provided by the Spanish government and the Bank’s Shareholder Special Fund.
Previously the EBRD supported similar investments in Bistrita-Nasaud, Braila, Brasov, Buzau, Constanta, Dambovita, Iasi and Sibiu counties.
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. To date the framework has mobilised investments of over €875 million in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
Since the beginning of its operations in Romania, the EBRD has committed over €5.5 billion to various sectors of the country’s economy.