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CAIRO - 10 February 2020: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a financing agreement of EUR 120 million with Egypt to support the expansion and upgrade of the Alexandria West Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP).
The financing will contribute to improving sanitation services for people in Alexandria, the bank said in a statement obtained by MENA on Monday.
The project involves increasing the capacity of the Alexandria West WWTP to match needs up to the year 2050 and upgrade the level of treatment at the WWTP from primary to secondary to improve the quality of effluent from the plant and contribute to the depollution of Lake Maryout as well as the Mediterranean Sea thus contributing also to the objectives of the Clean Oceans Initiative.
Flavia Palanza, EIB Director of Operations for Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood commented on the signature, “We are pleased to sign a new financing agreement to support such vital sector in Egypt. The Alexandria West WWP will have an important impact on the lives of people living in Egypt’s second largest city. As the largest international financier to the water sector worldwide, we are proud to provide both financing as well as needed expertise to implement projects.”
Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Egypt Ivan Surkoš noted that the water sector is indeed high in the agenda of EU partnership with Egypt; this sector has been one of the main pillars of EU cooperation over the past 15 years.
"We are looking at how water is the key to socio-economic development, not just from the environmental perspective, but also it contributes to green growth, particularly through greater resource efficiency," Surkoš said.
"The EU EUR 20 Million grant contribution to the Alexandria Waste Water Treatment Plant forms part of our efforts in that direction," he added.
On a regional scale, this project will support the depollution of Lake Maryout and the Mediterranean Sea and potentially provide an additional source of water and thus improve the economic situation in the area. Also, this project will improve the health and environmental conditions of people living in the Governorate of Alexandria.
This will contribute towards an efficient and sustainable water resources management in Egypt as well as to the Egyptian climate action efforts. The project will contribute to the environmental sound disposal/utilization of effluent and sludge and energetically optimized and environmental sound sludge treatment.
In addition, the project should limit energy consumption by generating energy from the biogas during the treatment of the sludge and thus reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the EIB and the Ministry of International Cooperation have signed a cooperation agreement to provide up to EUR 1.5 million of grant financing for a feasibility study including an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Tanta – El Mansoura – Damietta Rail project which will improve railways safety, availability and reliability of a vital rail corridor through the Nile Delta.
This technical assistant grant is funded from the Economic Resilience initiative (ERI).
The subsequent EIB financing facilitated by this grant will be used for the upgrading of the 118 km Tanta – El Mansoura – Damietta railway line.
The scope of the investment will be defined during the implementation of the Feasibility Study. The upgrade includes the doubling of the section El Mansoura-Damietta (65 km), the re-signaling of the whole line and investments in the railway stations, and potentially a freight yard and a freight link to Damietta port.
Palanza said “with this new loan, the Egyptian government intends to push ahead with the upgrading and expansion of its railway infrastructure. As the European Union bank, we believe that a well-functioning railway transport network can make a vital contribution to reducing the number of cars on the roads and in this way lower pollution and mitigate climate change”.
The project lies on an important railway corridor connecting Cairo to one of the major Egyptian Mediterranean ports, Damietta, and contributes to the improvement of the Egyptian railway network.
It will contribute to the development of economic infrastructure, in particular transport. The development of key transport infrastructure is a prerequisite for social and economic development and a priority for the EU strategy in the country.