(AGENPARL) – ven 13 maggio 2022 PRESS RELEASE
13 May 2022
Belgium: EIB and Société wallonne des eaux sign €250 million loan for climate resilience investment
The EIB is reiterating its commitment to the Walloon operator, supporting its 2022-2026 investment programme. This partnership was formed in 2006.
78 municipalities and 560 000 households are involved.
For SWDE, climate change mitigation and adaptation go hand in hand with infrastructure modernisation a secure supply.
This new plan is fully in line with the EIB Climate Bank Roadmap and the Paris Agreement.
At 10:30 on Friday 13 May 2022, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Kris Peeters and Société wallonne des eaux (SWDE) Management Committee President Eric Van Sevenant signed a €250 million loan in Verviers-Stembert, Belgium. This is the fourth operation since 2006 between the EU bank and the Wallonia-based operator, which is the main water producer and distributor in the region.
This new €250 million EU loan will go towards modernisation projects under SWDE’s 2022-2026 investment programme. The agreements signed are part of a sustainable development strategy pursued by both partners under EU and regional climate objectives. SWDE has also made a commitment to optimising water quality and cost and providing state-of-the-art facilities and management.
For over a decade, SWDE has been applying a proactive investment strategy to improve its water production and distribution infrastructure (a minimum of €100 million a year), while guaranteeing an affordable water supply for as many people as possible.
Fourth loan in 16 years
Since a previous €200 million EIB loan was granted in November 2016, SWDE’s investment has reached an average of €120 million a year and its prices have remained unchanged (frozen since December 2014). SWDE’s staff and partners ensure it keeps its promises and puts its public service ambition under the motto “Water for all, today and tomorrow” into practice.
Some of the investment projects implemented by SWDE are part of a regional water resource development scheme that is a key element of the Walloon Government’s comprehensive drought strategy. They cover €400 million invested in 400 km of large transport pipes, 12 pumping stations, nine reservoirs, two treatment plants and three water towers. They are financially supported by the government in view of their regional importance.
Their structural nature for the water sector means that SWDE’s investments have an impact on the resilience of the water supply to climate change across Wallonia through enhanced cooperation with other operators.
Investments for climate resilience in the water sector
SWDE Management Committee President Eric Van Sevenant welcomed the renewed trust the EIB has placed in SWDE, stressing that, “thanks to the EIB’s valuable assistance, these important projects, which are key for Wallonia and its people against a backdrop of climate change, can be implemented on favourable time scales and conditions.”