The EBRD is supporting the further modernization and regionalization of water utilities in Romania with a EUR 200 million co-financing framework that will allow municipalities to utilize grant funding from the European Union’s Cohesion Fund.
Through the new facility – Regional EU Cohesion Fund Co-financing Framework (R2CF) – the Bank is creating a financing instrument that will support critical investments in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure, helping Romanian utilities to align their services to EU environmental standards.
Under the framework, the EBRD will provide financing to water utilities on a non-recourse basis, demonstrating its strong confidence in the sector. It is estimated that the EUR 200 million framework will mobilize additional investments of close to EUR 1.5 billion in Romania’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
The EBRD will work with the Romanian Water Association to promote sector-wide performance monitoring and service improvements through a benchmarking program for water operators in Romania.
SC Raja SA Constanta, one of the largest water utilities in Romania, operating in the counties of Constanta and Ialomita, is the first beneficiary under the new framework. The company provides water and wastewater services to over 500,000 people in the south-eastern part the country.
The EBRD is providing the company with a EUR 33 million loan that will be used to part-finance the extension and rehabilitation of water supply and wastewater collection systems in a total of 24 localities in the two counties. The investment is co-financed by EUR 145 million from the EU’s Cohesion Fund.
Upon the completion of the investment project, the entire population of Constanta county and 98 percent of Ialomita county will have access to EU compliant drinking water services. In addition it will also increase significantly the coverage of wastewater collection services in the two counties.
Previously the EBRD provided financing to 18 water utilities in Romania, helping to mobilize close to EUR 500 million in pre-accession grant funding from the EU.
Since the beginning of its operations in Romania the EBRD has committed over EUR 4.8 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, which attracted additional investment of EUR 9 billion.