Home NewsCompanies Investment and Finance Europe Aquafin gets EUR 100m EIB loan to finance wastewater treatment in Flanders

Aquafin gets EUR 100m EIB loan to finance wastewater treatment in Flanders

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Flemish wastewater treatment company Aquafin have signed a new loan agreement for EUR 100 million.

The new agreement is for the first tranche of the eleventh framework agreement between the two parties, which has a total value of EUR 200 million.

The loan is the eleventh agreement between EIB and Aquafin to expand waste water treatment infrastructure for Flemish cities and municipalities.

The funds will be used to expand the collection and treatment of waste water in Flanders. Currently just over 84% of all waste water in Flanders is collected and treated, partially through this loan facility – the percentage is set to climb further in the coming years.

The financing will be used to finance investments that will further boost the percentage of treated waste water in Flanders between 2020 and 2022.

Apart from a number of smaller projects, Aquafin will build 3 new waste water treatment facilities and expand 5 existing installations, all of which are located less than 50 km from the North Sea coast.

Since the project will result in a significant reduction of untreated rain and waste water reaching the North Sea, the loan also contributes to the “Clean Oceans Initiative”. A significant amount  of existing infrastructure will also be optimised or replaced, for example with separate sewage for rain- and waste water.

Aquafin also contributes to the EIB’s climate objectives via the loan –  51% of the sub-projects covered under the facility have a direct positive link with regard to climate change.

The execution of the projects is expected to create 4.700 jobs.  The installations that will be built and renovated will treat the waste water more efficiently, leading to a reduction in energy use and CO2-emissions. Energy efficiency measures will be carried out on all connected installations under the project.

EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro, who is responsible for climate action commented:

“We are glad to support Aquafin’s investments to help the Flanders region mitigate and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, one of the main priorities for the EIB.”

“This project fits perfectly with our commitment to scale up climate financing and mainstreaming climate in everything we do: treating waste water more efficiently results in the reduction of carbon emissions while investments in sewerage, drainage systems and pumping stations improve adaptation to climate events. At the same time, by reducing untreated and waste water reaching the sea, the project will contribute to implementing the Clean Oceans Initiative.”

Aquafin CEO Jan Goossens said that the further expansion of the treatment infrastructure,would help  the recovering aquatic fauna in streams and rivers. In the event of heavy rain, the targeted disconnection of rainwater reduces both the risk of flooding and the chance that untreated water flows into surface waters.

“Furthermore, these decoupling projects stimulate the local re-use of water, which is important in bridging long draught periods. Last but not least, through our side-projects for energy efficiency and the production of renewable power, we give a significant contribution to the Flemish climate targets.” he added.

Aquafin is commissioned by the Flemish Region to build and manage the infrastructure for the treatment of waste water for around 5 million Flemish people. Aquafin has already delivered EUR 4 billion in projects for the Flemish Region and has a further EUR 1.7 billion in projects in its portfolio.

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