The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved €12.5m ($13.77m) loan to upgrade water and wastewater services in Arges county, Romania.

The Bank is providing financial assistance to the regional operator of water and wastewater utilities, Apa Canal.

Through the investment, more than 220,000 people of the region are expected to benefit from improved access to wastewater services.

Furthermore, for the first time, over 2,000 residents will obtain access to a water supply network.

Apa Canal 2000 also targets to  reduce water losses by 5.2 million m3 per year and treat an additional 1.0 million m3 of wastewater annually.

Additionally, the funds will assist in building an asset management system, including a software application to increase Apa Canal’s operational efficiency.

EBRD has offered the loan in two tranches, to co-finance Apa Canal’s €161.8m ($178.30m) EU large infrastructure operational programme.

The investment programme plans to improve and increase water supply and wastewater treatment services, with a focus on small communities of fewer than 10,000 residents.

The funding is being provided under the banks’ sustainable water infrastructure facility, which builds on EBRD’s long-term work with Romanian water companies to bring the sector in line with EU laws, policies and practices.

EBRD provided €330m (364m) in loans to 24 water operators in Romania to date

EBRD claims to have provided approximately €330m (364m) in loans to 24 water operators in Romania to date. The bank has also mobilised over €2bn (2.20bnbn) of its funding for the country’s water and wastewater facilities.

In addition, the bank is a major institutional investor in Romania and has financed more than €8.3bn especially in the private sector.

Recently, EBRD has approved a €26.8m ($29.5m) loan for wastewater treatment facilities in Belarus.

Through the investment, more than 300,000 people will have access to more reliable water and wastewater services in the region.

The funding will be utilised to refurbish and reconstruct the near-obsolete wastewater treatment facilities in the cities of Kletsk, Lyuban, Fanipol, Baranovichi, Bereza, Zhlobin and Shklov to meet the significant national standards and EU standards.