The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on Thursday that it is co-financing upgrades to water supply and wastewater systems in Bulgaria’s Stara Zagora and Vratsa regions together with the EU.
The EBRD is providing a 3.7 million euro ($4.5 million) loan to the water utility company serving the Stara Zagora region, which will be complemented by a 2.4 million euro loan from the EU’s European structural and investment funds (ESIF), the EBRD said in a statement.
The Stara Zagora water utility is investing a total of 52 million euro in the modernisation of its operations, most of which financed by EU grants.
The EBRD and ESIF are also jointly providing a 2.7 million euro loan to the utility that serves the cities of Vratsa, Byala Slatina, Mezdra and Kozloduy. The company is implementing a 21.3 million euro investment programme, also mostly financed with EU grants.
Both utilities aim to raise their operations to the standard of EU directives, save more drinking water and treat greater volumes of wastewater before discharge, the EBRD said.
The investments are being made under the Bulgarian ESIF Water Sector Financing Framework, which co-finances strategic investments in water and wastewater infrastructure. Financing committed under the framework exceeds 20 million euro to date, of which 11 million euro comes from the EBRD.