The European Investment Bank has granted a USD 50 million loan to the Republic of Panama for investment in wastewater treatment in Panama City. The country’s Finance Minister, Dulcidio de la Guardia, and EIB Vice-President Román Escolano signed the loan agreement in Panama today.

The loan will finance the expansion of the Juan Díaz water treatment plant included in the Panamanian Government’s 2015-2019 five-year strategic plan, which identifies water as a priority sector and aims to improve the coverage, quality and management of water services. The project will double the existing water treatment capacity of 190 000 m3 and will have a positive impact on the quality of water services and the urban environment.

This loan, the third that the EIB has granted to the Government of Panama, will be provided under the current Latin America mandate, which enables the Bank to support investment aimed at developing economic and social infrastructure.

The EIB has been mounting operations in Latin America since 1993 under mandates granted by the EU Council and European Parliament. During this period, the EU bank has signed contracts relating to 90 projects in the region, mobilising around EUR 7 billion worth of finance. On 1 July 2014 the current external lending mandate came into force for the period 2014-2020, with a limit of around EUR 2.3 billion for operations in Latin America. In certain cases the EIB can also grant loans from its own resources under the Climate Action and Environment Instrument or the Strategic Projects Instrument, for a combined total amount of EUR 2 billion.