European support for drinking water infrastructure in Zuid-Holland
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has concluded a loan agreement with regional water supply company Oasen Drinkwater in the Netherlands. The EUR 70 million loan will be guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), part of the Investment Plan for Europe of the European Commission.
With this financing, Oasen will carry out part of its investment programme for the years 2017-2022. This includes a major upgrade of distribution networks, as well as the renewal of treatment plants, reservoirs and pumping stations. As the distribution area of Oasen present challenges due to the characteristics of the soil, significant investment is needed for the upgrading and maintenance of the Zuid-Holland drinking water distribution and supply infrastructure.
“This is the first operation in the Dutch water sector where we use the support of the Juncker Plan, as it allows the EIB to provide attractive financial terms tailored to Oasen’s needs.” said EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom. “The project has a specific focus on adaptation to climate change, as part of the expenditures will be used to develop new purification techniques needed for the ground water due to increasing salinity.”
Prof. dr. ir. Walter van der Meer, CEO of Oasen added: “To provide our customers with reliable drinking water, Oasen Drinkwater N.V. invests continuously in the treatment plants, the distribution network and its knowledge. Thanks to the EIB loan we will definitely be able to roll out our investment plans for the coming six years.”
European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: "We are determined to move towards a more circular economy and manage our resources, including water, more sustainably and efficiently. EFSI investment for Oasen will support the upgrade of the drinking water supply and distribution network in the province of South Holland for about 750,000 people. By encouraging industry to innovate, we make it more competitive, and boost growth of a sector which already employs around a million people in Europe".