The first tranche of new 20-year financing to rehabilitate and upgrade the water and wastewater infrastructure of the Vilnius water system has been signed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The programme will focus on major renovations and extensions of the centralised water and wastewater networks in the city. It will also refurbish two wastewater treatment facilities. Included in the financing package is a provision for implementation of new IT solutions that will improve overall management of the water. The approximate $60 Million USD project is considered to be a long-term investment that is environmentally friendly. It is expected to deliver positive effects on the environment and living conditions in and around the capital city.
“This loan opens opportunities for us to smoothly achieve the set objectives and adhere to a very ambitious investment plan. We have no doubt that the investments will significantly improve the efficiency of the company and the quality of services – more households will be able to connect to the centralized water supply systems, the quality of drinking water supplied to customers will improve, and environmental pollution will decrease. When planning investments, we focus not only on development, but also on future technologies, sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions,” says Marius Švaikauskas, Chief Executive Officer of Vilniaus vandenys.
“This type of project is very much in line with the EIB’s ambition to become Europe’s climate bank.” added EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros. “A lot of investment goes into maintaining everyday drinking and wastewater infrastructure, so the Bank is glad it can lend a hand there. With the improvement of wastewater treatment facilities and a better network, we expect to see positive effects both for the environment and the population.”
“The financial injections of the European Investment Bank will allow us to implement [investment] these changes faster and with better quality than could have been expected,” says Valdas Benkunskas, Deputy Mayor of Vilnius.
Vilniaus vandenys is the largest water management company in Lithuania, supplying drinking water and treating wastewater to more than 265 thousand customers in Vilnius and surrounding areas.