The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Dutch water company Vitens signed a EUR 150 million loan agreement at the European representation in The Hague.

The loan is for a five-year investment programme, including projects to modernise Vitens’ water purification plants and production locations. The programme will also focus on distribution networks, sensors and support infrastructure such as security and office facilities.

Wolter Odding, member of the Vitens board: “The EIB investment will enable us to make the Dutch water network future-proof and safeguard a sustainable water infrastructure in the future.”

Vitens operates in the provinces of Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Utrecht and Overijssel and supplies drinking water to around 5.5 million consumers and business customers. The modernisation which the investment programme will make possible will benefit Vitens’ many customers in the Netherlands, to whom it supplies 350 million m3 of water every year.

Pim van Ballekom, EIB Vice-President: “A network such as Vitens’ requires constant upgrading to maintain its present high quality standards, and the EIB is pleased to be able to play its part. It is a robust company which plays an important part in providing millions of customers in the Netherlands with reliable, high-quality drinking water, and few give much thought to how much effort goes into that.”

The EIB’s relationship with Vitens goes back a while, with contracts for a total of EUR 250 million being concluded in 2004 and 2009. The two parties also collaborated on a clean water project in Malawi, where an international joint venture between Vitens and Evides International worked on the Lilongwe Water Board’s project to improve the water supply to some 1.5 million people.