ADB Partners with Commercial Banks in $300 Million Loan to CWE for Lake and River Rehabilitation in PRC

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $300 million B-loan facility with China Water Environment Group (CWE) to help restore water-ecosystems and build resilience to water-related disasters in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The syndicated facility will help to disseminate CWE’s operational know-how and technical expertise to more cities from projects financed by a direct loan by ADB of $150 million in 2017 to improve river and lake water quality in western PRC. ADB also provided $260,000 in technical assistance from an ADB-administered Water Financing Partnership Facility to enhance wastewater treatment standards and sludge management, as well as improve energy efficiency during wastewater treatment.

“ADB is pleased to continue its collaboration with CWE to further spread the benefits of its technical and operational expertise in designing efficient solutions including underground wastewater treatment plants and recycling of wastewater,” said ADB’s Vice President for Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships Diwakar Gupta. “The project also demonstrates the benefits of a new type of public-private partnership where a single concessionaire designs and implements a comprehensive lake and river pollution prevention and rehabilitation program involving multiple interlocking environmental facilities and services.”

By aggregating multiple subprojects under one facility, ADB facilitates coordination and overall management among the lenders. The signing of the co-financing facility was hailed by CWE, which said it would help the group to continue improving the PRC’s water-ecosystem and land-use practices.

“CWE has been designing and developing underground reclaimed water projects which can free up scarce land resources for residential needs,” said Chairman of CWE Hou Feng. “Underground plants have minimized the exposure of wastewater to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. CWE truly values ADB’s selective impact investment strategy which has encouraged us to continuously innovate and enhance the environmental and social impact of our operations. ADB’s support has been crucial for the rapid development of CWE.”

The facility will also help CWE empower women’s livelihoods by implementing an internship program for female students to support their movement to technical roles. Additionally, a non-discrimination policy to support the equal treatment of women and disabled employees in the workplace will be designed and implemented.

CWE is a leading integrated water infrastructure provider in the PRC and one of the world’s largest wastewater treatment companies, with a daily treatment capacity of 2.6 million tons in 2019.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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