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EBRD Invests in Water & Sanitation Services in Smolyan in Bulgaria

Infra News - Published on Fri, 22 May 2020

Image Source: Water Sanitation Services Smolyan
Up to 100,000 people in the Smolyan region in southern Bulgaria will benefit from access to improved water and wastewater services in line with European standards thanks to an EBRD investment combined with EU funds. The EBRD is providing a loan of up to EUR 5.8 million to the Smolyan Water Supply and Sanitation Company. The financing comprises EUR 3.1 million from the EBRD and EUR 2.7 million from the EU’s European Structural and Investment Funds. The EU will further co-finance the investment with EUr 34.8 million in grants.

The project will help to mitigate the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in Bulgaria, where vital infrastructure providers are under enormous pressure to deliver vital services while facing financial constraints. Support for infrastructure providers is a central pillar of the EBRD’s response to the crisis. The Bank now expects to dedicate the entirety of its activities in the period 2020-21 to overcoming the economic impact of the pandemic and is ready to invest up to EUR 21 billion.

As part of this effort the Vital Infrastructure Support Programme will help key infrastructure providers – including state-owned enterprises, municipalities and private utility operators – through a combination of short-term and long-term financial products to overcome the current shock and focus on their key function. The EBRD stands ready to engage with infrastructure providers in Bulgaria and is available for financing projects.

The operation will modernise and extend municipal services in line with EU directives for the population of the Smolyan district. The investment will reduce potable water losses, increase the share of the population connected to the sewer system to 99 per cent and increase the volume of wastewater treated before being discharged.

The investment in Smolyan is the EBRD’s second project under the ESIF Bulgarian Water Sector Framework. The programme was launched to co-finance strategic infrastructure investments that aim to comply with EU directives and address environmental issues and operational inefficiencies.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Fri, 22 May 2020
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