Multi-euro EBRD loan for Turkish wastewater treatment plant

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of up to €20M to finance the construction of Mezitli wastewater treatment plant in Turkish city Mersin, which has a population of close to one million people.

The loan means that since the beginning of its operations in Turkey in 2009, the EBRD has invested more than €1.8B in various sectors of the country’s economy.

The loan will be extended to Mersin Water and Wastewater Administration (Meski), the water utility company servicing the city and will be the first loan by an international financial institution to a Turkish water utility backed by a municipal guarantee. 

The loan will finance the design and build of Mezitli WwTW, which will be a second wastewater treatment plant in the city to serve the western part of Mersin. The existing Karaduvar wastewater plant, which was built in 2009, has the capacity to service 80% of Mersin’s population and a large amount of wastewater is discharged into the Mediterranean Sea without prior treatment. 

Meski will outsource the operation of the new wastewater treatment plant to a private contractor for five years. 

The project will significantly improve the quality and reliability of wastewater treatment services in Mersin, bringing them in line with both EU and Turkey’s standards, and will reduce water pollution in Mersin Bay and the Mediterranean Sea. 

The EBRD financing is complemented by technical assistance grants of up to €735,000, which will be used to assist Meski’s further commercialisation by introducing key performance indicators to support the project’s implementation and explore outsourcing of further functions such as meter servicing and maintenance. 

Sevki Acuner, EBRD deputy director for Turkey, said: “Supporting modernisation of municipal infrastructure by increasing private sector participation in this area is one of the EBRD’s priorities in Turkey. We are delighted to assist Mersin Water and Wastewater Administration in its efforts to raise the standards of services to international levels, reduce pollution and further improve the quality of life in the city. Moreover the EBRD’s participation in the project will help Meski strengthen its operational efficiency.” 

Kamil Ulgen, general manager of Meski, said: “This cooperation allows us to build on the positive results achieved so far and to continue to improve the water and wastewater infrastructure in Mersin, to the benefit of city’s residents. We also value greatly the technical assistance provided by the EBRD and international donors, which will enable Meski to strengthen its operations.”

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