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A €20mn loan to the water and wastewater utility of the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk marks the EBRD’s first municipal infrastructure project in Ukraine that does not require a sovereign guarantee.

The project will help improve the quality of the city’s drinking water, make the utility more efficient, and cut the flow of untreated effluent into the Dnieper River and the Black Sea basin.

The project is in line with the EBRD’s broad efforts to find ways to finance local infrastructure projects without further burdening central government budgets, and more specifically to help clean up the environment of one of Ukraine’s most industrialised regions. The project received crucial support through technical cooperation funds worth €1.4mn provided by the governments of France and Sweden, as well as the European Union.

Thomas Maier, Director of Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure at the EBRD, said the project will demonstrate how the Bank can help municipalities implement tariff reform, improve billing and apply better management procedures.

The municipal and environmental infrastructure programme in Ukraine focuses on local investments, working with local authorities and their utility companies to enhance their creditworthiness by improving budgeting, debt management and investment planning.

The Bank’s cumulative investments in Ukraine stand at €1.7bn through 68 projects.