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Clean water for Romania’s Bihor county

By Olga Rosca

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The EU Cohesion Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are joining forces to modernise and upgrade the water and wastewater services in Bihor, a county in the north west of Romania.

The EBRD is providing a €5 million loan with 15-year maturity to co-finance a regional investment programme of €83.27 million equivalent, approved by the European Union, which includes significant grant funding from the EU.

The modernisation programme will be implemented by Compania de Apă Oradea S.A., the local water utility and recipient of the loan. The upgrade is expected to reduce water losses, optimise costs and bring services in line with EU environmental directives.

Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD Director for Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure, said: “The EBRD is committed to improving urban infrastructure, particularly water services, in Romania and helping the country to absorb EU cohesion funds. This loan will enable the company to modernise water and wastewater infrastructure in twelve urban agglomerations of Bihor.”

The EBRD’s loan is being provided under the Bank’s Romania EU Cohesion Funds Water Co-Financing Framework, launched in 2010. The utility in Bihor is the nineteenth company in Romania to benefit from the modernisation of water and wastewater services. To date the Bank has invested over €250 million under the Framework and has mobilised more than €1.6 billion of EU funding in Romania’s water and wastewater facilities.

Since the start of its operations in the country the EBRD has invested approximately €6.4 billion across over 330 projects in Romania and has further mobilised over €12 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.

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