The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted nearly €26.8 million (S$40.3 million) sovereign loan for the improvement of wastewater treatment facilities in Belarus.
The investment will benefit more than 3,00,000 residents of Belarus by providing improved water quality.
The fund will help redevelop and rebuild the wastewater facilities in seven Belarusian municipalities, namely Kletsk, Lyuban, Fanipol, Baranovichi, Bereza, Zhlobin and Shklov.
Currently, the plants are ‘near-obsolete’ and the investment will help bring them to the national and the European Union (EU) standards.
Since Baranovichi and Fanipol subprojects fall under the Baltic Sea catchment area, they will have to comply with the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) recommendations for the wastewater discharges.
Furthermore, the Baranovichi subproject will receive €1.5m from the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Support Fund (NDEP) while the other six subprojects will receive €4.3m from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P).
The project will help lower CO2 emissions by 38,100 tonnes annually and reduce nitrogen, phosphorous and other emissions.
The project will also receive up to €5.4 million (S$8.1 million) in technical cooperation funds from the Early Transition Countries (ETC) Fund, the Global Environment Facility and the EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund.
Contributing countries for the ETC Fund include Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the UK.
The contracts for EBRD-financed subprojects will be through open international tenders.
The EBRD has invested almost €2.7 billion (S$4.1 billion) in 119 different projects in Belarus since 1992.