EBRD lends €14.4 million to upgrade water services in Timis county, Romania

By Vanora Bennett

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  • EBRD lends €14.4 million to water company of Timis County in Romania
  • Loan co-finances €239 million project to upgrade water and wastewater services
  • Nearly half a million people will benefit from improved access to water

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is lending €14.4 million to the water company of Timis County in Romania, part of a €239 million European Union Large Infrastructure Operational Project to extend, rehabilitate and modernise its water and wastewater infrastructure. 

The 15-year EBRD loan, which will co-finance the company’s investment programme, falls under the Bank’s €250 million Sustainable Water Infrastructure Facility to support Transition (SWIFT framework). 

The water company Aquatim SA has been an EBRD client since 1995, under three programmes of water reform. It is working to achieve compliance with EU directives on drinking water quality and wastewater collection and treatment. 

The improvements will benefit nearly half a million residents, bringing significantly reduced water losses, and raising connection rates to water networks from 93.6 per cent now to 97.4 per cent by 2026, and to wastewater networks from today’s 79.1 per cent to 89.4 per cent by 2026. 

The project will also bring improved corporate asset management planning and more transparent and predictable tariff methodology. 

Over the last 20 years, the EBRD has been supporting the Romanian water sector in implementing its largest water investment programmes, generating essential environmental benefits while enabling the sector to plan for other key investments. In the recent years, at the request of the Romanian Government, the Bank has deepened its support for water sector reforms through: (i) training to ANRSC (National Regulator for Public Services) to ensure that infrastructure services are delivered efficiently and (ii) supporting regional water operators in preparing 5-year business plans, as a pre-requisite for license approvals. These further regulatory requirements will help to assure customers that tariffs are set in a transparent, fair and reasonable manner. This assistance is financed from EU funds available to Romania, as part of a new Memorandum of Understanding on EU funds absorption 2021-2027. 

The EBRD is a major institutional investor in Romania, where it has invested more than €10 billion in more than 500 projects to date. 

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