The company has proposals for a £3.2 billion spending plan over the five years of its regulated capital programme for the 2005-2010 period. Of this, £1.5 billion is planned for improving environmental standards, a United Utilities spokesperson told edie news, adding that this loan would help ensure compliance with national and EU environmental standards.

The loan contract was signed on November 18th by John Roberts, Chairman of United Utilities Water and Peter Sedgwick, Vice-President of EIB. It is the fourth loan from EIB to United Utilities since the privatisation of the company in 1989.

Financing projects that directly promote the EU’s policies to protect the environment and reduce pollution in Europe is a key objective for the EIB, and Mr Sedgwick called United Utilities an important partner in furthering those aims.

In many ways the North-West has a greater need for investment than a lot of other areas, a United Utilities spokesperson told edie news as it has one of the longest coastlines to be maintained, as well as one of the oldest pipe networks a legacy of the area’s role in UK industrial history.

The company maintains 40,000 km of waterways and has allocated £1.5 billion for the maintenance of its supply network during the five year period.

By David Hopkins

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