The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is implementing Green Cities project in Belarus by financing the introduction of state-of-the-art wastewater management systems in the City of Minsk. The project will have significant environmental benefits for the country’s largest municipality with a population of more than two million inhabitants.
A sovereign loan of €84 million to Minsk Vodokanal (MVK), the country’s biggest municipal water utility, will be the largest loan in the municipal sector provided by the EBRD in Belarus to date. It will help finance the rehabilitation and optimisation of MVK’s wastewater treatment plant and the construction of a cost-efficient, modern sludge-management facility to ensure the company’s compliance with national and EU standards for effluent treatment quality.
These measures will improve the city’s environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 130,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, which can be compared with removal of 28,000 cars from the streets of the capital.
The project will be co-financed by a parallel loan of the same amount provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) which will be its first signed project in Belarus.
The project is the first transaction under the Minsk Green City Action Plan (GCAP) which is part of EBRD Green Cities. The GCAP is financed by the government of Sweden and supports actions and investments designed to address priority environmental issues in the capital of Belarus.
EBRD Green Cities is a €950 million facility that offers a comprehensive business model for green urban development, combining strategic planning with investment and associated technical assistance.
Green Cities is one way in which the Bank is scaling up its green finance as a part of its Green Economy Transition (GET) approach. The GET approach seeks to increase the Bank’s volume of green financing to 40 per cent of the EBRD’s annual investment by 2020.