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EBRD, EIB and EU finance improvements to water services in Moldova

EBRD, EIB and EU finance improvements to water services in Moldova

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the European Union through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility are joining forces to support the modernisation of water and waste water infrastructure in Moldova’s capital, Chișinău.

The EBRD and the EIB will each provide loans of €24 million to the city’s water and wastewater utility S.A. Apă Canal Chișinău, while the EU will contribute an €11 million grant.

EIB President Werner Hoyer said: “Water is essential for life, and improvements to the Chișinău city water system will significantly improve the quality of drinking water, reduce leakage and enhance waste water treatment. This new joint engagement by the EIB and EBRD reflects our complementary strengths, combining experience of upgrading water networks across Europe and supporting implementation in Moldova. We further welcome European Union support for the scheme, both through a detailed evaluation of investment needs and grant support to be provided for the investment programme from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility. The Chisinau water project is truly a flagship demonstrating Europe’s long-term partnership with Moldova.”

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said at the signing of the project in Chișinăutoday: “This is a very significant investment programme. Its significance lies not only in the considerable amount of money involved, but also in the impact it will have on people’s lives. It is an outstanding example of how international financial institutions and the European Union are working together.”

The funds will be used to finance the extension, rehabilitation and modernisation of the water and wastewater infrastructure. The upgrade programme will improve the efficiency of the city’s water network, save energy and contribute towards future compliance with relevant EU directives.

The existing water network in Chișinău, a city of 800,000 inhabitants, dates from Soviet times and is no longer adequate to meet the city’s demands. Due to a lack of investment key parts of the network are in urgent need of refurbishment. Investment planned under the new upgrade programme will reduce water loss, improve water quality and reduce health risks.

The European Union Ambassador to Moldova, Pirkka Tapiola, added: "This important programme will enable Apă Canal Chișinău to enhance operating efficiencies and customer service quality and to reduce environmental impacts in its service area in Chișinău. The EU supported the preparatory phase of this programme by providing €3 million for a feasibility study and continues its support also by providing an investment grant of €11 million for the implementation of construction and rehabilitation works. The EU grant, combined with loans from the EBRD and EIB, facilitates the implementation of the required upgrades to the water supply and sanitation systems, and has a low loan burden for the citizens of Chișinău".

Since 2007, the EBRD and the EIB have financed nine projects in Moldova worth a total of €674 million, shared 50/50 in sectors such as road rehabilitation, public transport, power transmission network modernisation, as well as in water services.

EU grant-based assistance linked to the EBRD and EIB investments in Moldova totals over €100 million across more than 10 projects in energy, infrastructure and municipal sectors.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Moldova. To date, it has signed over 100 investments in the country, covering the energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, and totalling almost €900 million.

Moldova is an important partner for the EIB among Eastern Partnership countries, with the highest EIB lending volume per capita. Since the start of EIB lending in Moldova in 2007 more than €450 million has been provided in long-term loans including support for improved roads and public transport, water, energy and agriculture.


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