Vilnius to improve water and wastewater infrastructure with European support
Apr 27 2021
The EIB and the Vilnius water authority Vilniaus Vandenys have agreed a 20-year loan facility worth €50 million. The financing, of which a first €20 million tranche has been signed, will be used to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in the capital region, which is expected to have positive effects on the environment and living conditions for residents. Apart from renewing two wastewater treatment plants (in Vilnius and in Švenčionys), VV will use the financial backing to refurbish and improve the water- and wastewater networks in and around Vilnius.
“This loan opens opportunities for us to smoothly achieve the set objectives and adhere to a very ambitious investment plan. We have no doubt that the investments will significantly improve the efficiency of the company and the quality of services – more households will be able to connect to the centralized water supply systems, the quality of drinking water supplied to customers will improve, and environmental pollution will decrease. When planning investments, we focus not only on development, but also on future technologies, sustainable, environmentally-friendly solutions,” says Marius Švaikauskas, Chief Executive Officer of Vilniaus vandenys.
By reducing pollution of the receiving waters by outdated sewage treatment facilities, the project will have a positive impact on the environment and contribute to more healthy living conditions in the Vilnius area. In settlements without water treatment systems, wastewater is often discharged into rivers or sewage pits, from which it reaches groundwater. It is expected that the reconstruction of the two wastewater treatment plants will also improve the condition of the nearby Neris and Mera-Kūna rivers
“This type of project is very much in line with the EIB’s ambition to become Europe’s climate bank.” added EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros. “A lot of investment goes into maintaining everyday drinking and wastewater infrastructure, so the Bank is glad it can lend a hand there. With the improvement of wastewater treatment facilities and a better network, we expect to see positive effects both for the environment and the population.”
“For many years, water management systems in Vilnius region have not been maintained properly, so now we are facing a huge need for investment in infrastructure. We are planning to carry out a major renovation of the centralized network, as well as to implement modern wastewater treatment solutions that will be not only favourable for consumers, but also environmentally friendly. These are sustainable, long-term projects and, at the same time, an investment in the future. The financial injections of the European Investment Bank will allow us to implement these changes faster and with better quality than could have been expected,” says Valdas Benkunskas, Deputy Mayor of Vilnius.
Technically speaking, the financing will support the rehabilitation and extension of water supply, sewage network and treatment facilities in Vilnius and surrounding areas, notably the municipalities of Švenčionys, Švenčionėliai, Pabradė, Nemenčinė, Gėla, Šalčininkai and Eišiškės. Vilniaus Vandenys will also use the loan for the implementation of new IT solutions to improve water management.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the EIB on favourable credit terms for the company. We hope it is a beginning of a long-term and harmonious partnership that will be mutually beneficial.“ added Gintaras Samuolis, CFO of Operations Planning and Finance
Vilniaus vandenys is the largest water management company in Lithuania, supplying drinking water and treating wastewater to more than 265 thousand customers in Vilnius and Vilnius, Švenčionys and Šalčininkai districts. The company supplies about 93 thousand cubic metres of water per day and collects and treats more than 111 thousand cubic metres of wastewater.