BEIJING, February 28, 2007 – Yesterday the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of $147 million to the People’s Republic of China to help finance the Second Shandong Environment Project.
The project aims to support sustainable improvements in the environmental conditions of nine participating municipalities, cities and counties of Shandong Province on China’s eastern coast. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is also supporting the effort through a grant of US$5 million for the reduction in land-based pollution along the Yantai coast and the Bohai Sea which border the province by piloting septic tank waste management techniques.
Shandong Province, the second most populous province of China with a population of more than 92 million people, is one of the fastest-growing provinces in China. However, a shortage of water, inadequate wastewater collection and treatment, and lack of solid waste management facilities are presenting serious challenges for the sustainable development of the province. The uncontrolled wastewater pollution of rivers in the area has been impacting negatively on the urban environment and damaging the shallow Bohai Sea ecosystem.
“Through this project, the World Bank will help support the provincial government’s efforts to address these difficult challenges,” said project leader Wang Shenhua, a senior infrastructure specialist for the World Bank. “We will focus on a number of areas, including helping build and upgrade facilities for wastewater collection and treatment, solid waste management, and improving the water supply. An important aspect is also the enhancement of financial performance and efficiency of key urban environmental services.”
Specifically, the project will finance the development of wastewater collection network and treatment facilities in Gaomi, Huantai, Qixia, Weifang, Weihai, Yantai and Zaozhuang with associated river embankment rehabilitation in Qixia, Weifang, and Zaozhuang. New waste treatment and disposal facilities will be built in Heze and Rizhao. The project will also construct water works, transmission mains and distribution networks, and upgrade control systems in Gaomi and Huantai. The Bank will also support efforts to strengthen construction management and business development and enhance capacity building of the provincial Environmental Protection Bureau. This includes training for provincial and local government decision makers and project owners.
The total project cost is $281 million, and Bank finances $147 million (52%).