The Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved over $900 Million USD in new investment in Belgium, Ireland and the Baltics.
The funding is allocated for projects in the water sector, renewable energy and support for rural and urban development.
In addition, the Board commented on the EU’s approval of the InvestEU guarantee programme that will be deployed to supplement EIB financing for water and wastewater infrastructure projects, clean energy, education and improved internet access throughout the region.
Part of a financing programme totalling $339 Million USD has been allocated to improve water distribution and water security through large scale investment in water infrastructure in Wallonia. The project will modernize drinking water supply, enhance resilience to the effects of climate change, reduce energy consumption, and increase the use of renewable energy in water supply and treatment processes. It is estimated that at least 2.5 million people in Belgium will benefit from the upgrades.
In addition, the Board of EIB approved $215 Million USD in new financing for water projects in Ireland. The funding will support construction of new water mains, water and wastewater treatment facilities and reservoirs, as well as measures to improve water conservation. Of the 23 projects, four aim to reduce water loss in the distribution networks, seven relate to improvements in water supply structure and 12 relate to improvements in the wastewater infrastructure.
European Investment Bank vice president Jonathan Taylor said: “Investment in the Irish water infrastructure will significantly enhance water conservation measures, improve drinking water quality and reduce risks of pollution.
“The European Investment Bank recognises the considerable challenges and investment needed in the sector and is pleased to provide the first EIB support for investment in water infrastructure in Ireland for over a decade.”
Separately, EIB President Werner Hoyer confirmed that the InvestEU initiative was operational. The Investment Committee of the European Union approved a guarantee programme totalling over $2 Billion USD. The EU guarantee will enable EIB to offer greater support for projects in water and wastewater infrastructure, clean energy, and education.
The financing backed by the EU guarantee will support investments across the EU including in Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.