• The initiatives financed with EIB funds will help to improve the coverage and quality of integrated water services and waste collection in the Veneto region.
  • This project is supported by InvestEU, the EU programme aiming to mobilise investment of more than €372 billion by 2027.
  • Over the last five years, the EIB has provided €3.75 billion in funding to the Italian water sector.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and ETRA SpA - Società benefit have signed an agreement concerning €100 million of investment in improving recycling facilities and integrated water services in the Veneto region.

The EIB’s funding is supported by InvestEU, the European Union programme that aims to unlock investment of more than €372 billion by 2027. The EIB Group’s commitment to Italy under InvestEU has already had a major economic impact on the country, with total financing of around €2.7 billion.

Specifically, the main initiatives to be financed by the EIB’s investment include the restructuring and construction of waste treatment and water supply installations, the purchase of biomethane-fuelled vehicles and the expansion of water networks. The project will thus help to promote climate action and further the transition towards a more circular economy, which are key objectives of the European Green Deal.

The EIB previously financed modernisation and efficiency improvements in the Veneto water networks in 2022 by subscribing to the Viveracqua Hydrobond, a €148.5 million long-term instrument issued by six consortium managers in Viveracqua.

European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “This is an excellent example of how the InvestEU programme together with the EIB promotes a greener and more resilient economy. This agreement will support investments in recycling facilities and water services in the Veneto region, moving towards a more circular economy. This in turn will help to protect our natural resources and mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

According to EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti, “This agreement demonstrates the close links forged by the EIB with Italian utilities and represents a significant step in supporting the transition to a more circular and resilient economy by promoting innovative solutions that will help to protect the environment and improve people’s quality of life.”

“In 2023, our company was selected to provide the integrated water service for 15 years and, as such, has been able to plan significant investments in improving the sustainability of our activities,” adds ETRA’s Chief Executive Officer Domenico Lenzi. “At the same time, investments in the water sector aimed at increasing resilience and resistance to climate change have been rising consistently since 2020. Funding from the EIB and the European Commission plays a vital role in supporting ETRA’s circular economy as it is longer term than is usual on the credit market and is offered under highly advantageous conditions.”

The EIB has invested €3.75 billion in Italy’s water sector over the last five years

With more than 1 600 projects and around €80 billion in financing provided since 1958, the EIB is one of the world’s leading lenders to the water sector. In the last five years, Italy has received more EIB resources for the water sector than anywhere else, seeing 40 operations financed for a total of €3.75 billion.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It finances sound investments that contribute to EU policy. EIB projects boost competitiveness, foster innovation, promote sustainable development and improve social and territorial cohesion while supporting a fair and rapid transition towards climate neutrality. Over the past five years, the EIB Group has provided more than €58 billion in financing for projects in Italy.

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps to mobilise private investment for the European Union’s strategic priorities such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. InvestEU brings all EU financial instruments previously available for supporting investments within the European Union together under one roof, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme has three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is allocated through implementing partners that will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

ETRA SpA - Società benefit is a publicly owned multi-utility and is therefore subject to management and coordination by the municipalities that own it pursuant to Article 30 of the Consolidated Law on Local Government or TUEL (Coordination Committee). ETRA operates in the municipalities located along the Brenta River, which stretches from the Asiago Plateau to the Euganean Hills, including the area of the Bassanese, the northern part of the province of Padua and the urban belt around Padua. ETRA was awarded a contract to serve this territory by its local government entities (70 municipalities, the Brenta Basin Council for Water and the Brenta Basin Council for Waste), providing essential water management and integrated environmental services.