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27.07.2004 Business & Finance

Fortis Bank loans Ghana 175 billion cedis

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to finance water project

Accra, July 27, GNA - The government of Ghana and Fortis Bank of the Netherlands on Tuesday signed a loan agreement covering 175.73 billion cedis (15.688 million Euros) to be used as part financing of the Kwanyaku Water Treatment Project in the Central Region.

The Netherlands Government would provide the remaining amount of 94.62 billion cedis (8.447 million Euros) to make up for the total project cost of 270.35 billion cedis (24.136 million Euros). Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, signed for Ghana while Ms Amanda M. Conde, Deputy Director of the Fortis Bank (Netherlands) N.V., signed for the bank.

The project, which starts this year, would take about 30 months to complete.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Kwanyaku Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation and Expansion Works Project is one of the biggest sub-urban water supply schemes in the Central Region serving 13 towns and 160 surrounding villages in Agona, Gomoa, Mfansiman, Ajumako Essiam and Ewutu Efutu Senya Districts.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said the solution to the water problem facing these areas was core to the Government's development agenda since most schools in the area were forced to close down intermittently.

He said the rehabilitation of the existing system would increase its original designed capacity of 14,000 cubic meters per day to 35,000 cubic meters per day to meet the projected water demand in the area up to the year 2015.

"The project when completed will ensure a safe and constant supply of treated water at all times with corresponding enhancement of the health profile of the people living in the project corridor."

Mr Osafo-Maafo said Fortis Bank under a similar mixed credit financing arrangement called ORET was currently funding a number of key projects with grant financial assistance from the Royal Netherlands Government.

These include the Sekondi-Takoradi Water Supply System and the Odaw Drainage Project.

Ms Amanda Conde, Deputy Director of Fortis Bank, expressed the Bank's commitment towards the development of infrastructure in Ghana and said it would deepen its intervention in key sectors of the economy. She commended the Finance Minister for his hard work and expressed the hope that the bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Ghana would be strengthened

Ms Janet A. Nieboer, Manager of Global Export and Project Finance of the Bank, said the World Bank had approved the concessionary project and the remainder of the loan would soon be made available to complete the project on schedule.

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