The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a financing agreement of EUR 120 million with the Arab Republic of Egypt to support the expansion and upgrade of the Alexandria West Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP). The financing will contribute to improving sanitation services for people in Alexandria.

The project involves increasing the capacity of the Alexandria West WWTP to match needs up to the year 2050 and upgrade the level of treatment at the WWTP from primary to secondary to improve the quality of effluent from the plant and contribute to the depollution of Lake Maryout as well as the Mediterranean Sea thus contributing also to the objectives of the Clean Oceans Initiative.

Flavia Palanza, EIB Director of Operations for Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood commented on the signature, “We are pleased to sign a new financing agreement to support such a vital sector in Egypt. The Alexandria West WWP will have an important impact on the lives of people living in Egypt’s second largest city. As the largest international financier to the water sector worldwide, we are proud to provide both financing as well as needed expertise to implement projects.”

Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Egypt Ivan Surkoš noted that the water sector is indeed high in the agenda of EU partnership with Egypt; this sector has been one of the main pillars of EU cooperation over the past 15 years. "We are looking at how water is the key to socio-economic development, not just from the environmental perspective but also contributing to green growth and in particular through greater resource efficiency," Surkoš said. "The EU EUR 20 Million grant contribution to the Alexandria Waste Water Treatment Plant forms part of our efforts in that direction," he added.

On a regional scale, this project will support the depollution of Lake Maryout and the Mediterranean Sea and potentially provide an additional source of water and thus improve the economic situation in the area. Also, this project will improve the health and environmental situation of the people living in the Governorate of Alexandria.

This will contribute towards an efficient and sustainable water resources management in Egypt as well as to the Egyptian climate action efforts. The project will contribute to the environmental sound disposal/utilisation of effluent and sludge and energetically optimised and environmental sound sludge treatment.

In addition, the project should limit energy consumption by generating energy from the biogas during the treatment of the sludge and thus reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

The financing, which benefits from the coverage of the EU guarantee for EIB financing operations outside of the EU as well as a significant grant contribution from the EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Platform (NIP), will contribute to improving sanitation services for the residents of Alexandria.

The Project has been identified and prepared with the support of the Mediterranean Hot Spots Investment Programme (MeHSIP) using funds provided by the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) Trust Fund using the Climate Action in the Middle East and North Africa (CAMENA) envelope.

Economic Resilience Initiative

The Neighbourhood Investment Platform (NIP) is a mechanism aimed at mobilising additional funding to finance capital-intensive infrastructure projects in EU partner countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in sectors such as transport, energy, environment and social development. The NIP also supports the private sector, mainly through investment grants and risk capital operations targeting small and medium-sized enterprises.