EIB grants $110m loan to Aquafin to upgrade wastewater treatment facilities in Flanders

WCN Editorial Team 11 Dec 2019 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a €100m ($110.6m) loan to the Flemish wastewater treatment company Aquafin to support the improvement of wastewater treatment facilities in Flanders.

The latest funding is the first phase of the €200m ($221.2m) loan agreement signed between the EIB and Aquafin and is 11th framework agreement.

The funds will be used to expand the collection and treatment of wastewater in Flemish cities and municipalities.

At present, more than 84% of all wastewater in the city is collected and treated, partially through the loan facility that percentage is set to increase in the coming years.

Aquafin will construct three new wastewater treatment facilities and will expand five existing installations, which are located at less than 50km from the North Sea coast.

EIB said that the project will reduce untreated rain and wastewater entering the North Sea and the loan will contribute to the “Clean Oceans Initiative”.

EIB vice-president Emma Navarro said: “The importance of separate water discharge for the environment is easily underestimated.

Due to climate change we can expect more intense and frequent rain, which will put enormous pressure on existing sewers.

“The EIB is glad that, through the fruitful collaboration with Aquafin, Flemish wastewater can be managed separately, which also contributes to the Clean Oceans Initiative.”

The new installations that will be constructed and renovated are expected to treat the wastewater more efficiently, reducing the energy use and CO2 emissions.

Aquafin CEO Jan Goossens said: “This EIB financing supports Aquafin and Flanders in meeting several objectives through a further expansion of the treatment infrastructure, the recovering aquatic fauna in streams and rivers will get a necessary breath of air.

“In case of heavy rains, the targeted disconnection of rainwater reduces both the risk of flooding and the chance that untreated water flows into surface waters. Furthermore, these decoupling projects stimulate the local re-use of water, which is important in bridging long draught periods.”


Image: EIB approves $110m loan to Aquafin to expand wastewater treatment infrastructure in Flanders. Photo: Courtesy of EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK.

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