DEPUTY Noel Coonan has welcomed the announcement of funding for Thurles Water Treatment Plant and Networks and Fethard Water Conservation project.
The European Investment Bank loan will provide €200m to support improvements in Ireland’s Water Services Investment Programme (WSIP) by financing 23 projects nationwide to provide new water mains, water and wastewater treatment facilities and reservoirs, as well as measures to improve water conservation.
“My colleague, Environment Minister Phil Hogan, made the announcement and it is an endorsement of the Bank’s confidence in the Irish State and our recovery programme. It is also a good signal for securing third party financing in the future,” said Deputy Coonan.
“The water investment initiative includes replacement of over 300km of old water mains in South Tipperary, Galway, Limerick and Dublin City. In addition waste water treatment will be enhanced through six new treatment plants in North Tipperary, Kildare, Kerry, Galway and Roscommon.
“When making the announcement, Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President said investment in the Irish water infrastructure will significantly enhance water conservation measures, improve drinking water quality and reduce risks of pollution.
Mr Taylor recognised the considerable challenges and investment needed in the sector and was pleased to provide the first EIB support for investment in water infrastructure in Ireland for over a decade,” continued the Fine Gael TD.
Deputy Coonan explained that the European Investment Bank will provide a 25-year loan and enable quicker implementation of the investment programme. Following agreement of the EUR 200 million loan a first tranche of EUR 100 million will support immediate investment and a second tranche will follow as the investment programme progresses.
During 2012 the European Investment Bank provided EUR 504m for long-term investment in Ireland. This included support for Irish schools, renewable investment projects and lending to small businesses.