Banks and European nations fund environmental clean-up of Russian city

Two European banks, Sweden and Denmark are to assist the Russian Federation in funding the environmental clean-up of the city of Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast.

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Earlier this year, the Baltic Marine Environmental Protection Commission, known as the Helsinki Commission, warned that in order to clean up the worst of the city’s pollution hot spots would cost in the region of US$150 million (see related story). However, the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), a multilateral financial institution owned by the five Nordic countries, announced on 7 July that it had agreed a loan of US$13 million (£9.2 million) to assist in the financing of the Kaliningrad Water and Environmental Services Project. The scheme is designed to develop the city’s water supply and wastewater treatment, and to improve the financial and operational performance of the municipal water utility Vodokanal Kaliningrad.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $63 million (£45 million), and will be co-financed by a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) of $18 million (£14 million), as well as with grants from Sweden and Denmark and other multilateral sources, amounting to nearly $23 million (£16 million), and a local contribution of $10 million (£7.1 million).

The project is expected to significantly decrease the effluent load of untreated wastewater and reduce public health hazards and the environmental pollution of the Baltic Sea.

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