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World Bank to finance 29 water industry projects in Belarus in 2018

Economy 03.01.2018 | 19:18

MINSK, 3 January (BelTA) – The World Bank will finance the modernization of 29 water supply and wastewater treatment facilities in Belarus in 2018, BelTA learned from Marina Tolstik, Head of the Utilities and Power Engineering Office of the Belarusian Housing and Utilities Ministry.

Since 2009 Belarus has borrowed $150 million from the World Bank for the sake of developing the national water supply and wastewater treatment system. About $100 million has been spent so far, with work finished at 29 facilities. Plans have been made to spend about $50 million in 2018 to commission another 29 facilities.

The projects include the reconstruction of the sewage systems in Logoisk, Borisov, and Bykhov, the reconstruction of sewage collector No.3 in Bobruisk, and the reconstruction of wastewater treatment systems in Mstislavl. Plans have been made to build a main sewerage pump station in Gantsevichi, water supply pipes in Krichev (the first stage), a subterranean water deferrization station at the central water intake facility in Rechitsa and 12 water deferrization stations in Vitebsk Oblast.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) also helps implement water supply projects. The EBRD in association with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has financed the reconstruction of wastewater treatment facilities in Vitebsk, Brest, and Grodno and the construction of biogas plants at the wastewater treatment facilities in Slonim and Baranovichi. The biogas plant in Baranovichi was commissioned in December 2017. A total of €39.35 million was borrowed for these projects, with €31.88 million granted. These projects will have a long-term effect resulting from a lower environmental impact due to better wastewater treatment.

The possibility of using the EBRD funding to finance the construction of deferrization stations is under consideration now.

A total of about €280 million has been invested in the Belarusian utilities industry since 2009 as part of cooperation with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the key credit institution of the World Bank), the EBRD, and the NIB. According to the source, Belarus' experience of cooperation with the international financial organizations in implementing utilities industry projects has been positive. “Borrowing money is now the main way of rehabilitating the utilities industry. International banks offer rather comfortable lending terms. We can also borrow cutting-edge practices,” added Marina Tolstik.

Belarusian utilities industry enterprises operate 10,197 artesian wells, 1,300 wastewater treatment facilities, 598 water deferrization stations, 38,200km of water supply pipes, and 18,500km of sewage pipes.

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