The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided Águas de Portugal (AdP) and its subsidiaries with a facility of €420m (£379m) to upgrade its nationwide water supply and waterwaste infrastructure.

The first tranche of €220m was signed on Tuesday by EIB vice-president Román Escolano and AdP president João Nuno Mendes. The terms for the remaining €200m are still to be finalised, but there’s been discussion of funneling it directly to municipalities, through an alternative structure which would bypass AdP.

The loan is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), and forms part of the so-called Juncker Plan, formally the Investment Plan for Europe. It also fits within Portugal’s Strategic Plan for Water Supply and Wastewater Sanitation for 2020 (PENSAAR 2020).

The financing will facilitate improvement of water infrastructure throughout mainland Portugal, with a particular focus on “convergence regions”, defined by the European Union as regions where the GDP per capita is less than 75% the European average.

European commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “Thanks to the support of the Juncker Plan, 8m Portuguese people will benefit from an improved water supply.

“I am also very pleased to note that 7,400 jobs will be created thanks to this EU-backed financing.”

Picture credits: European Investment Bank