European Investment Bank support for Emscher rehabilitation

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The European Investment Bank is providing a €450 million loan to support the ongoing work to return Germany’s Emscher river system to a near-natural state.

The loan provides co-financing for the investment programme of the Emschergenossenschaft water authority for 2017-2019. The authority’s programme aims for the Emscher to be mostly wastewater free by the end of 2020. The loan is the third to be provided for the programme by the EIB, taking its total financing provided to more than €1.3 billion.

The Emscher catchment in the central Ruhr region is home to almost 2.5 million people. The river had been used as an open sewer for most of the last century. The EIB provided loans to support the large-scale rehabilitation project in 2011 and 2013.

The latest loan from the EIB has been provided with a maturity of up to 45 years as well as allowing for current low interest rates to be locked in with a fixed interest rate.

In a statement from the EIB, its President, Werner Hoyer, said: ‘The Emscher rehabilitation project is a real showcase for the whole of Europe. It shows how a region shaped by industry over several decades can be returned to a near-natural landscape.’

Uli Paetzel, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Emschergenossenschaft, said: ‘Our Emscher rehabilitation project is not only one of the most important water projects in the region, but has now also become an international flagship project with town planning advantages for both people and the natural environment.’


  • Germany, Emschergenossenschaft, municipal wastewater, European Investment Bank