Asian Development Bank & China Water Affairs Group sign $200m deal on urban water management

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Christopher Thieme, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department (left), and Duan Chuan Liang, CWA’s Chairman (right), during the signing ceremony in Beijing.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a loan equivalent of up to $200 million to help China Water Affairs Group Ltd (CWA) improve wastewater management and increase people’s access to clean and reliable water supply in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The agreement was signed by Christopher Thieme, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, and Duan Chuan Liang, CWA’s Chairman, at a ceremony in Beijing.

ADB’s assistance is comprised of two loans of up to $100 million each in US dollars and yuan. The financing, to be disbursed on a project-by-project basis, will support the construction and operation of a series of public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives covering a combination of water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment, and sewage and drainage pipelines in second and third-tier cities in the PRC. The PPP arrangements will help increase private sector participation in the urban water sector.

“Ensuring accessible, safe, and reliable water supplies for the PRC’s urban areas is an urgent development priority,” said Mr. Thieme. “This financing supports CWA in pioneering new approaches to urban water management where multiple services are integrated to increase water efficiency.”

The transaction builds on the success of ADB’s earlier partnerships with CWA, which focused on supplying water to cities and surrounding rural communities. In the new financing, the emphasis is on supporting CWA’s innovations to link the entire water value chain, including wastewater pipelines and treatment.

Once completed, CWA’s projects are anticipated to supply over 10 million cubic meters per day of tap water and treat over 1.8 million cubic meters of wastewater daily. Over 5,000 kilometers of CWA-managed sewage and drainage pipeline networks will also be constructed.

CWA, established in 2003 as one of the first private companies to own and operate water distribution networks in the PRC, has concession operations in more than 50 cities across 16 provinces and provincial-level municipalities in China. CWA’s main business lines include water supply, wastewater management, and water construction services.