The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a new £76m loan with the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority to improve drinking water supply in and around the capital of Cambodia.

The project is supported by an investment grant of £12m from the Asia Investment Facility of the European Union and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) under the Mutual Reliance Initiative.

The financing is expected to support the construction of the Bakheng Water Treatment Plant (WTP) in the northern outskirts of Phnom Penh with its intake located on the west bank of the Mekong River.

The water treatment plant would help increase the water production capacity and extend the distribution network of the Cambodian capital city, which is home for 10% of the country’s population and hosting the majority of industrial activities.

The WTP project enables the delivery of 71 billion litres of clean water every year in and around the capital of Cambodia.

EIB said that the WTP project is in line with the Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 for the European Union’s cooperation with the Kingdom of Cambodia (KOC).

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority director general Sim Sitha said: “As you may know, the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) initiated its infrastructure rehabilitation process 22 years ago. These efforts have produced remarkable results: Non-Revenue Water dropped from 72% to 8%, sales were multiplied by 10, and billing ratio is now close to 100%.

“Those results could not have been achieved without the constant backing from both the Royal Government of Cambodia and PPWSA’s development partners.

“AfD and EIB plaid a pillar role by helping PPWSA to increase its production and distribution capacities to meet the water demand forecast set in its Master Plan 2016-2030. This enabled PPWSA to respond to the strong demographic and economic growth – especially in peripheral neighbourhoods.”