The EBRD is helping to provide some 170,000 people with safe water and sanitation services in Prahova county in south-eastern Romania while also greatly reducing the losses that occur in the water treatment process.
The Bank is providing a €9.2 million loan to SC Hidroprahova SA, the water and wastewater operator for the Prahova area, to help finance its €146.2 million investment programme. The EBRD loan is being provided alongside EU Cohesion Funds of €116.5 million as well as funding from the local and state governments.
The investment programme will raise the quality of drinking water in line with EU directives and will increase access to water and sewerage services in the company’s service area. The investment is also expected to significantly reduce SC Hidroprahova’s water losses while lowering the operating costs of the company.
Once the programme is completed, 96 per cent of the population in the project area is expected to be connected to a safe water supply, while for wastewater the connection rate in the project area is expected to increase to 91 per cent.
The project will also promote renewable energy investments through an important energy efficiency element: SC Hidroprahova plans to introduce between 3,000 and 5,000 solar panels with a total installed capacity of 0.8-1 MW in its wastewater treatment plants.
Jean-Patrick Marquet, Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure at the EBRD, said: “The EBRD’s support is key to facilitating the absorption of EU funds for infrastructure upgrades in Romania. Through this new investment, the Bank is continuing to support the modernisation of water services in the country, helping to improve the quality of water supply and wastewater services and align them to EU standards.”
Dumitru Pantea, General Manager of SC Hidroprahova, said: “The project is of major importance for Prahova county and we are delighted to work with the EBRD in order to improve water and wastewater services in the area. The implementation of this project represents an important step in ensuring provision of quality water and wastewater services in this part of Romania, while the implementation of the Bank’s environmental and social policies supports the development of SC Hidroprahova as the regional water operator.”
The project includes the extension and modernisation of SC Hidroprahova’s water and wastewater networks in eight agglomerations in Prahova county: Breaza, Baicoi, Campina, Mizil, Plopeni, Sinaia, Urlati and Valenii de Munte.
The EBRD's €9.2 million loan is a subproject of the €330 million Regional EU Cohesion Fund Co-financing Framework (R2CF) which was launched in 2010 and extended in September 2012 to support investments in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure and help municipalities absorb the financing available from EU Cohesion Funds. It is estimated that the framework will mobilise additional investments of approximately €2 billion in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure.