The FINANCIAL — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $150 million (in euro equivalent) in loans to improve water supply and sanitation services in Georgia and help the government craft an integrated approach to the sector’s development. Under the Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Development Program, ADB will provide a $130 million policy-based loan and a $20 million project loan. The project-based loan will fund operation and maintenance capacity and equipment of UWSCG. It will help to prepare for national-scale rural water supply and sanitation development. The number of household connections will also be increased, and metering will be raised to 100% from the current 40%.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $150 million in loans to improve water supply and sanitation services in Georgia. Furthermore, under the Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Development Program, ADB will provide a $130 million policy-based loan and a $20 million project loan. ADB will also administer a $250,000 technical assistance, which will introduce an asset management system with high-level technology for water supply in selected cities. Of this amount, $225,000 will be financed on a grant basis by ADB’s High-Level Technology Fund, while the government will provide the remaining $25,000, as reported by agenda.ge
Water supply in Georgia ranges from four hours to 24 hours per day, posing a significant health risk during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. About 92% of urban and 64% of rural residents receive piped water, while 84% of urban and 20% of rural residents have access to sewerage systems. Only 36% of the total population benefit from wastewater treatment, ADB stated.
ADB Principal Urban Development Specialist Heeyoung Hong noted that the existing water supply and sanitation operation in Georgia is inefficient, compromising the sustainability of the sector and failing to overcome disparities between urban and rural areas. According to ADB, the project-based loan of USD 130 mln will support the operation and maintenance capacity of the state-run United Water Supply Company of Georgia (UWSCG). Based on the announcement, the loan will enable a 24-hour water supply in the eastern town of Telavi, and increase the number of household connections from 40% to 100%, according to civil.ge
ADB has been helping to improve water and sanitation in Georgia since 2011 when it began supporting UWSCG through a multitranche financing facility of up to $500 million. This increased access to water supply and sanitation services and benefited over 300,000 people in 12 cities. In July, ADB announced a $40 million investment in Georgia’s first-ever green bonds with proceeds to upgrade water supply and sanitation in Tbilisi and nearby municipalities, and refinance debt of renewable energy and water operations. The green bonds were issued by Georgia Global Utilities JSC, whose main subsidiary, Georgian Water and Power LLC, is the largest privately-owned utility company in the country, serving around 1.4 million customers.
It should be noted that in July of 2020 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced an investment of up to $20 million in green bonds to be issued by Georgia Global Utilities JSC (GGU), with proceeds to upgrade water supply and sanitation in Tbilisi and nearby municipalities, and to refinance debt of renewable energy and water operations. ADB will also administer a further investment of up to $20 million in the bonds by Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP). Read more