The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's financing institution, is lending EUR 225 million (1) for the construction of a pipeline to supply drinking water to Greater Algiers and several towns in the Kabylie region, in Algeria.

The EIB loan is being granted to Banque Algérienne de Développement, which will pass on the proceeds to the Agence Nationale des Barrages (ANB) within the Ministry for Water Resources. The ANB is currently the body in charge of mobilising surface water resources in Algeria. It will gradually assume responsibility for the construction and management of all major water transfer facilities. 

This is one of the largest scale drinking water supply projects in the Mediterranean Basin. It constitutes the key link between the Taksebt dam, a project already financed by the EIB with a total of EUR 83 million in 1992 and 1998, and Algiers. It involves construction of the main drinking water pipeline, some 83 km long, from the Taksebt dam to the water treatment plant at Boudouaou, including 4 tunnels with a total length of 12 km. The project also includes treatment and pumping works and the necessary reservoirs. The works will be carried out between 2002 and 2006.

The project, identified and defined in a study financed under the METAP grant aid facility (2), is essential for providing drinking water to over 4 million people. 

The EIB is a lead player in achieving the priority objectives of the European Union. In 2000, the EIB provided finance totalling EUR 36 billion, of which EUR 30.6 billion for projects in the EU Member States, almost EUR 3 billion in the Accession Countries and over EUR 2.4 billion in other non-member countries.

The European Investment Bank, the EU's financing institution, is at the forefront of implementing the European Union's "Mediterranean Partnership". Accordingly, it has been entrusted with a mandate to make available up to EUR 6 425 million over the period 2000-2007 for financing capital projects in the EU's 12 Mediterranean partner countries.

Since 1978, the EIB has committed almost EUR 1.5 billion in Algeria to finance projects with a fundamental impact on the economic development of this country. The energy sector has received EUR 712 million (47%) and transport, a total of EUR 431 million (29%), while EUR 253 million in all has been advanced for the establishment and rehabilitation of water supply reserves and systems.

(1) Conversion rates: EUR 1 = DZD 68.7611, GBP 0.628500, USD 0.87650.

(2) In addition to providing finance for environmental protection projects, in 1990 the Bank helped to launch the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Programme (METAP). Over a period of ten years, it has made available nearly EUR 15 million in the form of grant aid for technical assistance operations and the preparation of some 70 projects in the field of environmental protection.