EIB lends EUR 150 million to Dutch water utility Vitens to future-proof the drinking water distribution network and increase water reserves over the next 10 years.
Investments are part of Vitens’ strategy to adapt to accommodate demographic and economic growth and the adverse impacts of climate change.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Dutch water utility Vitens have signed a EUR 150 million loan agreement. The financing will be used to carry out parts of Vitens’ 2020-2024 investment programme, covering the renewal and upgrading of water treatment plants, reservoirs and pumping stations, as well as distribution networks and water meters. Increasing the water reserves would act as a buffer to extreme weather events.
“This kind of investment shows the added value that European Institutions can bring to The Netherlands." says the head of the EIB’s Amsterdam office, Els Sweeney-Bindels. “Hardly anyone is aware of the major investments that are needed for the upkeep of such high-quality water distribution networks as we know them in The Netherlands. The EIB is glad it can provide the financing for this and continue the longstanding partnership with Vitens.”
“Vitens is a sustainable drinking water utility that is socially anchored, with a positive impact on people and nature. Increasing investments are necessary to ensure 24/7 drinking water.” says Marike Bonhof, the CFO of Vitens N.V. “Not only in the short run but also for future generations. We are happy with the long-term relationship with the EIB. Our purposes have a lot in common”.
Vitens’ investments will ensure continued compliance with EU water directives, and are aimed at ensuring the sustainability of reliable and affordable drinking water supply in its service area.
Vitens is The Netherlands’ largest water utility. Having a statutory monopoly on the provision of drinking water in its service area (which covers 92 municipalities in five provinces (Friesland, Overijssel, Gelderland, Flevoland and Utrecht) it currently serves a population of about 5.8 million, equal to nearly one third of the Dutch population. Vitens is wholly owned by the provinces and municipalities that constitute its service area. This is the fourth operation between EIB and Vitens in The Netherlands, next to a water project in Malawi, which the EIB supported together with a joint venture between Vitens and Evides, another Dutch water company.
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