The largest water management company in Lithuania, Vilniaus vandenys, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are to continue their cooperation. The Bank has granted the company the second €30 million instalment of a €50 million credit agreement to contribute to environmental protection and better living conditions for residents of the Vilnius area.
The water management company received EIB financing of €20 million last year. It used these funds to continue modernising the water management system of Vilnius and the surrounding region, focusing on the most important investment projects. Simonas Klimavičius, Chief Financial Officer at Vilniaus vandenys, explained that this financing will enable the company to continue achieving its strategic goals, even in the current difficult geopolitical environment.
“Our long-term partnership with the EIB not only provides us with assurance that the public’s interest in receiving high-quality water management services will be satisfied, but also gives us the much-needed financial resources we must allocate to the implementation of strategic projects. We are planning to successfully complete the goals set out in our ambitious 2020-2022 operational plan, and our plan for the 2023-2025 period is no less ambitious,” said Simonas Klimavičius.
The EIB loan will be used to renew the region’s water supply and sewage networks, modernise wastewater treatment facilities, and improve the availability of services and the quality of drinking water for the community of Vilnius and the Švenčionys, Šalčininkai and Vilnius District municipalities, as well as for investments in new technologies and environmentally friendly solutions.
EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who has oversight of EIB operations in Lithuania, said: “The EIB is proud to continue supporting the water sector in Lithuania, contributing to environmental protection in line with the EIB’s ambition as the EU climate bank. The project will reduce water pollution, resulting in a positive impact on the environment and living conditions for residents of the Vilnius area.”
Considering the increasingly complex macroeconomic situation, Vilniaus vandenys has agreed a one-year extension with the EIB for the use of the financing until 2024. This longer term is expected to enable smoother handling of the current challenges, such as materials supply logistics, changes in contractor schedules, inflation and other disruptions to investment projects.
According to the Deputy Mayor of Vilnius, Valdas Benkunskas, the renewal of the water management infrastructure is a never-ending process requiring constant investment.
“In geographical terms, Vilnius is a large city, so we also have an extensive engineering infrastructure. This means that the renovation work practically never stops. In order to not only maintain the quality, but also to improve the conditions of the supplied water and other water management services, it is necessary to continue planning the investment flows for this work. The loan from the European Investment Bank is not only a huge boost for the implementation of these ambitious projects, but also a clear sign of confidence in our vision for Vilnius as a high-quality capital,” noted Benkunskas.
In the near future, Vilnius vandenys will focus on the reconstruction of the Vilnius wastewater treatment facilities and the Žemieji Paneriai water service plant, the renovation of the Karoliniškės water supply network and the modernisation of important sections of the sewage system. Since most (nearly two-thirds) of the infrastructure managed by the company has been in operation for more than 30 years, its modernisation projects are critically important for the capital and the surrounding region.
Last year alone, Vilniaus vandenys allocated more than €30.6 million to investment projects.
Vilniaus vandenys is the largest water management company in Lithuania, responsible for supplying drinking water and treating wastewater for more than 270 000 customers in Vilnius City and in the Vilnius, Švenčionys and Šalčininkai Districts. The company supplies nearly 93 000 cubic metres of water and collects over 111 000 cubic metres of wastewater each day.