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Bishkek (AKIpress) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of €8 million for the benefit of the Bishkek Water Company, the municipal water and wastewater operator in the capital. The loan will be provided under a sovereign guarantee. This is the second EBRD project with the Bishkek Water Company and the fourth with the city of Bishkek, EBRD said.
In parallel with the EBRD loan, other institutions are providing matching grant financing to the company. The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is providing a €6.85 million grant. The Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) will provide a €1.15 million grant.
The proceeds of the EBRD loan and the SCCF and SECO grants will fund water supply and wastewater rehabilitation in the city. The project will involve the development of well fields and replacement of transmission pipes; the construction of wastewater collector pipes; and the procurement of laboratory equipment.
Signing the loan at the EBRD Annual Meeting in Warsaw, EBRD First Vice President, Phil Bennett, said: “The government of the Kyrgyz Republic sees the modernisation of water and wastewater infrastructure as a priority, and so do we. The EBRD has been actively working in the sector for the last three years and together with international donors the Bank has supported several projects throughout the country.”
The Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic, Olga Lavrova, said: “The proposed operation is the second EBRD project with the Bishkek Water Company. These projects are very important for Bishkek as they are aimed at improving the quality and reliability of water supply and wastewater services in the capital. These improvements will have a very positive effect on people’s lives.”
The city of Bishkek, with funding from the EBRD and SECO, is already working on the modernisation of the city’s water supply infrastructure. The previous loan, signed in 2009, financed the modernisation of equipment and vehicles, the installation of water meters, and the rehabilitation of boreholes and water intakes, to improve water supply services for the people of Bishkek.
This year, the EBRD has also financed water and wastewater modernisation in the city of Talas following similar projects earlier in the cities of Bishkek, Osh, Jalalabad and Karabalta.
Since the beginning of its operations in the Kyrgyz Republic, the EBRD has invested about €460 million (US$ 625 million) in the country’s economy, with about a fifth of the Bank’s financing supporting infrastructure.