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Source: European Investment Bank

  • EIB lends EUR 100 million to Dutch public water company PWN in support of its climate adaptation strategy, to safeguard and futureproof Noord-Hollands drinking water supply.
  • Project will see more intensive source and nature protection, investments in purification and partial replacement of distribution networks to make them more climate resilient.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 100 million, 20-year loan agreement with PWN, the company that manages the drinking water supply in most of the province of Noord-Holland in The Netherlands. The loan supports the necessary investments to maintain the high quality of drinking water that PWN provides, from source to tap. The investments are needed to anticipate the effects of climate change on PWN’s business model. The more frequent and prolonged drought periods that are expected in the near future, will impact drinking water production and distribution. Apart from this, the population of the province of Noord-Holland is growing, and drinking water demand with it.

Sustainable drinking water supply

PWN aims to produce CO2-neutral drinking water by 2050, meaning it wants to be a completely emission-free and circular organisation by that time, already halving its carbon footprint by 2030. The highest priority remains the sustainable supply of drinking water, for which the protection of its main freshwater sources and nature reserves is very important. The EIB’s financing will support PWN in implementing more climate-friendly ways to filter drinking water, substituting part of its distribution network with more heat- and draught-resistant pipes, as well as measures to better manage supply among different water sources and storage areas.

The EIB has been supporting drinking water production companies in The Netherlands for quite some time now.” said EIB Vice-President Christian Thomsen. “People in the country are becoming more and more aware of the risks The Netherlands are running in the face of climate change. Apart from changing our ways when it comes to emissions, we need to adapt to the changing situation as well, and the EIB is very glad to support PWN in doing that.”

“The world around us is changing. PWN has to anticipate to this, so that our client will always – now, and in the future – dispose of reliable drinking water. That is why we welcome the willingness of the EIB to lend to PWN. This way, we jointly work for the future of drinking water for our citizens.” added Ria Doedel, General Director of PWN.

Technically speaking, PWN’s investments focus on the rehabilitation and upgrade of production installations, replacement of distribution piping, water storage facilities, reservoirs, pumping stations and sustainable management of coastal dunes in a region expected to be affected by climate change. This is the fourth operation with PWN funded by the EIB since 1998, with the last one signed in 2016. 

PWN Waterleidingbedrijf Noord-Holland N.V. is a publicly owned company whose sole shareholder is the Province of Noord-Holland. PWN supplies drinking water to 1.7m customers through a pipeline network of 10,342km with 811,770 connections, which represents about 10% of the Dutch market, making it the fourth largest drinking water company in The Netherlands by number of connections. It supplies drinking water and manages the dunes in the province of North Holland. The water is treated at plants in Andijk, Bergen, Heemskerk and Wijk aan Zee. PWN is appointed by the province to manage more than 7,500 hectares of nature reserves between Zandvoort and Bergen. The dunes in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park and the North Holland Dune Reserve are protected as Natura 2000 sites. These areas are managed in accordance with the Barometer Duurzaam Terreinbeheer certification system for sustainable landscape management (Gold standard) and attract approximately six million visitors a year. See also www.pwn.nl.

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