International Finance Corporation to Support Thailand’s Water Sector

November 2023

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Thailand’s Ministry of Interior have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help strengthen the Southeast Asian country’s public infrastructure while improving access to quality water and expanding wastewater treatment capacity. In line with Thailand’s climate goals, the agreement aims to facilitating joint initiatives, optimizing subnational financing opportunities and developing public-private partnership (PPP) projects with a focus on sustainability.

Some of the potential initiatives comprise subnational financing for projects related to public transport, wastewater treatment, water supply and distribution, and electric vehicles (EVs). Once finalized, IFC will help the selected municipalities assess the viability of the projects and conduct feasibility studies in alignment with international best practices.

Currently, Thailand has a pipeline of around 100 PPP projects under its project delivery plan, with an estimated investment of over USD 30 billion. As part of the agreement, IFC will work with the Metropolitan Water Authority (MWA), Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) and Provincial Waterworks Authority (PWA) under the Ministry of Interior to conduct studies and develop a pipeline of PPP projects to expand the capacity and scope of water supply and water distribution and wastewater treatment in the municipalities covered by MWA, WMA, and PWA.

According to World Bank estimates, to achieve some of its sustainable development goals (SDG)—drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene by 2030—Thailand needs USD 6.9 billion in investments. Moving forward, the private sector will need to play a key role in spurring these investments through PPPs. Currently, the majority of wastewater is untreated in Thailand which has contributed to one third of Thailand’s surface water being of poor quality, with a large backlog of investments in wastewater treatment plants needed across the country.

In the last decade, IFC has invested over USD 64 billion in emerging markets across infrastructure sectors. For 2023, IFC’s committed infrastructure portfolio reached USD 13.7 billion. In Thailand, IFC committed USD 613.4 million in 2023 with USD 29.2 million for infrastructure projects.

(Source: International Finance Corporation)

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