CHISINAU, September 18, 2013 – A new environmentally-friendly and energy efficient Wastewater Treatment Plant was inaugurated today in Orhei. The Plant uses Constructed Wetlands technology that has lower maintenance and operation costs than traditional technology.
Constructed Wetlands technology is to date successfully applied in many countries around the world but has not been implemented until now in the region. The Plant is the first to use such environmentally-friendly technology in Eastern Europe and the largest such facility in the whole of Europe. Initial investment costs are also lower and amounted to approximately US$5.5 million compared to US$10 million that would have been required for a conventional Wastewater treatment plant of similar capacity.
"We are extremely pleased with this project, which is the result of a close collaborative effort between the Government of Moldova, the local administration of Orhei County, the European Commission, the World Bank and other development partners.”, said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus who was present at the inauguration with Minister of Environment Gheorghe Șalaru and Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova Pirkka Tapiola. ”The plant’s increased energy efficiency and reduced emissions will mean reduced operations and maintenance costs for the City, and generation of savings that can be directed toward other municipal needs.”
The new Wastewater Treatment Plant is designed with a capacity sufficient to treat all wastewater generated by the city of Orhei, and at efficiency levels consistent with EU requirements. It is expected to generate an estimated 40 percent in energy savings per cubic meter treated and will reduce the amount of pollution discharged to the environment due to high treatment performance.
The Plant’s construction was funded from the Regional Development and Social Protection Grant (US$2.9 million), financed by the European Union, the Ministry of Environment’s National Ecological Fund (US$ 2.2 million) and the National Water Supply and Sanitation Project (US$0.4 million), financed by the World Bank.
Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, over US$1 billion has been allocated to 49 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 11 active projects with total commitments of US$205.7 million. Areas of support include regulatory reform and business development, education, social assistance, e-governance, healthcare, water and sanitation, agriculture, and others. The International Finance Corporation has provided total investments in the amount of US$191 million and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency has provided guarantees totaling US$95 million. Both institutions are members of the World Bank Group.