EIB Funds Climate Change Adaptation and Biogas Investments in the UK

3 November 2011: The European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a GBP 400 million loan to the UK's United Utilities for climate change and energy efficient water management.

The loan 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.

One of the projects to benefit from the funding is Davyhulme wastewater treatment works in Manchester, which will implement enhanced sludge digestion, resulting in products that can be recycled to farmland, plus large volumes of biogas used to generate green energy via combined heat and power facilities at the site. The electricity generated will be used to power the entire plant, one of the biggest in the UK, with excess power transferred into the national grid.

Wastewater treatment plants at 12 locations will also be upgraded to generate heat and electricity through combined heat and power engines. 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. [EIB Press Release]