Egyptian Firm to Invest $186m EBRD Loan in Expanding Sanitation Infrastructure

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Egypt’s Fayoum Water  and Wastewater Company is set to invest a grant of  $186 million received from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) into the development and expansion of its wastewater services.

The funding will support the construction of eight new wastewater treatment plants; the expansion of nine units; the rehabilitation of 10 plants; the installation of more pipes and pumping stations; and purchase of 350 sewage removal trucks.

The investment will increase the company’s treatment capacity to provide sanitation services, improving the living conditions of approximately three million inhabitants of Fayoum governorate, one million of whom will be accessing sanitation services for the first time.

The expansion of the wastewater treatment facilities will reduce the level of pollution caused by untreated domestic wastewater and the contamination of surface and ground water, which affects many waters including Lake Qarun, the third-largest lake in Egypt.

Reducing the level of pollution in Lake Qarun will help restore tourism and boost agricultural and fishing activities which is expected to create over 30,000 permanent jobs in one of the poorest governorates in Egypt.

Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr said, “We are moving quickly to respond to the urgent priorities of citizens in all governorates. We are confident that EBRD is a key partner and provide all the necessary support for the immediate implementation of the project.”

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD which promotes private and entrepreneurial initiatives towards an era of market-oriented economies.

It has been receiving funding since 2012, the most recent including financing the working capital of a copper cable manufacturing company and for the environmental upgrade of the country’s carbon holdings company.

The EBRD financing will be complemented by a loan of €172 million provided by the European Investment Bank; and an investment grant of €30 million from the European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) in addition to more than €7 million for technical assistance.

The EU NIF-funded technical assistance includes project procurement and implementation support as well as for corporatisation, financial and operational improvements and stakeholder-engagement activities.

“Water is life. The European Union has a long and lasting commitment to work with Egypt in supporting this vital sector. Our aim is to improve the quality of life of nearly 10 million inhabitants, which is part of our ongoing support to the water sector,” said Ambassador Ivan Surkoš, Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt.

The EU has allocated €425 million in grants, leveraging €2 billion in blended finance through European financial institutions to support the water sector in Egypt.

Janet Heckman, EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region and Head of the EBRD in Egypt noted that the investment will not only develop the wastewater infrastructure, but also improve the environment and contribute to employment in a remote rural area substantially.

 

The EBRD will also provide technical assistance to support women’s access to economic opportunities and to assess economic inclusion outcomes.

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