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UKEF supports Biwater contract with Kurdistan Regional Government

UKEF has agreed a loan to the Kurdistan Regional Government to finance a contract with UK water engineering company Biwater.

The loan agreement was finalised and signed yesterday by the Kurdistan Regional Government, and Louis Taylor, CEO of UK Export Finance (UKEF).

Biwater has been contracted to deliver water and wastewater treatment solutions for the cities of Erbil and Sulaimani in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The project is designed to alleviate the current strain on existing infrastructure and reduce the region’s reliance on dwindling groundwater reserves to deliver long-lasting environmental benefits.

UKEF will provide a US$34.8 million loan under its direct lending facility to the Kurdistan Regional Government to finance the preliminary scoping phase of the project, covering social and environmental impact assessments, relevant site surveys and detailed designs. This phase will run for 6-12 months. J.P. Morgan is acting as the Mandated Lead Arranger for this initial loan on behalf of UKEF to the Kurdistan Regional Government.

This loan is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between HM Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2014.

Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, said:

This is great news for Biwater and for British exports, and I am delighted that UKEF is financing this hugely important contract. It shows what is possible when British technical excellence receives the right government support at the right time. The project will bring much needed benefits to Kurdistan and also offer substantial opportunities for supply chain companies based here in the UK.

Alastair White, Deputy Chairman, Biwater, extended his thanks to those involved saying:

Biwater is very grateful for the support of UKEF and other teams within the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Her Majesty’s Government teams in Erbil and Baghdad, who have been instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.

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