Swedish water-saving company Orbital Systems gets EU backing

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Orbital Systems, which makes water-saving showers, said on Monday it had signed a 15 million euro ($17.1 million) loan agreement with the European Investment Bank to scale up its production.

The company, founded six years ago by Chief Executive Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, said it would also use the financing to further industrialize and commercialize its products.

Mahdjoubi initially developed the water-recycling technique for NASA’s Mars mission project.

“Projects like Orbital’s don’t only bring innovative products onto the market or create jobs, they are also actively contributing to changing mentalities and behaviors, for the benefit of our planet,” European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said in a statement.

The firm’s water saving solution, for use in homes, vehicles and hotels, can save up to 90 percent of water and 80 percent of energy compared to a conventional shower, it said.

Orbital Systems backers include fashion retailer H&M's HMb.ST Chief Executive Karl-Johan Persson, Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype, and former Tesla TSLA.O executive Peter Carlsson.

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm, editing by Johannes Hellstrom