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Friday, November 4, 2011

European subsidies destined for the fight against climate change

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News The European Investment Bank funds "United Utilities" in the fight against climate change and water management energy efficient.

The European Investment Bank has agreed to support ambitious investment by United Utilities that will improve water supply and wastewater management that will take account of predicted climate change and demographic developments. Agreement for GBP 400m funding from the European Union’s long-term lending institution was signed in Manchester by Russ Houlden, United Utilities’ Chief Financial Officer and Simon Brooks, European Investment Bank Vice President for the United Kingdom. The European Investment Bank is the largest lender to the UK water sector and this funding will benefit 6.8 million people across North-West England through individual schemes to improve drinking water quality and enable more energy efficient treatment of wastewater. The funding will include support for projects that take account of the potential impact on water and wastewater of extreme weather events and climate variability over a 25 year period and form the first phase of United Utilities’ capital expenditure programme for the 2010-2015 regulatory programme. One of the projects to benefit from the funding is the £100m SBAP project at Davyhulme wastewater treatment works in Manchester. The scheme will provide enhanced sludge digestion, resulting in a cleaner soil conditioner that can be recycled to farmland, plus large volumes of biogas that will be used to generate green energy via combined heat and power engines at the site. The electricity generated will be used to power the entire plant, one of the biggest in the UK, and any excess will be transferred into the National Grid. Wastewater treatment plants at 12 locations including in Blackburn, Burnley and Sandon Dock in Liverpool will also be upgraded to generate heat and electricity through combined heat and power engines. In Penrith and Irthington treatment capacity will be increased to meet local population growth and ensure compliance with new environmental standards. The funding will also support flood alleviation schemes, by increasing the capacity of sewers during heavy rainfall, helping remove flood risk for nearly 800 properties. In addition, the programme will improve water quality in rivers and along the coastline by upgrading sewer overflow points and building 101 new storm water detention tanks. Over the last 5 years the European Investment Bank has provided nearly GBP 3 billion to water companies across the United Kingdom.

Source :  Press room - European Commission


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