WB: No new plan to improve water supply in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 27 / Trend A.Akhundov /

The World Bank (WB) is not currently discussing a new project to improve water supply and sewerage services in Azerbaijan, the WB Baku Office told Trend on Monday.

"New projects in this area which are likely to be financed by the WB, have not yet been discussed. Currently we are focusing on the implementation of existing projects," the WB said.
Earlier the Bank sent the Azerbaijani Finance ministry documentation on restructuring two national projects to improve water and sanitation services in the country.

The restructuring is being conducted in connection with a misdemeanour over the purchase rules whereby real prices for services were higher than that offered by tender. In this connection, it was decided to revise the project's structure and prolong the period of its implementation.

According to information received, work under the project has already been cut from 22 regions to four and that the project will see the full restoration of the water supply and sanitation system in the Shamakha, Gabala, Saatly, and Sabirabad regions.

A number of regions covered by the second project were decreased from 20 to 8. As a result, the project will cover full restoration of water supply and sewerage systems in the Siyazan, Shabran, Agsu, Ismayilli, Masalli, Lerik, Yardimli and Jalilabad regions. Financing of the remaining regions is envisaged by funds from the government and Islamic development bank.

"The implementation of existing projects is at various stages. Contracts have been already signed for all the works in eight districts covered by the second project. Work under the first project in some areas has already been contracted, in others the tender procedure is under way," the Bank said.

The WB approved $230 million for the first similar project valued at a total of $310 million. The Government assigned the rest with $80 million. As of September 2011, of the $230 million WB loan, only $20.3 million was spent leaving $209.7 million unused.

As the works have not yet been completed, the period of implementation of the project is prolonged until the end of February 2013 compared to the initial completion date of January 2012.

This leaves the first national water supply and sanitation system improvement project being carried out in parallel with the second one which should also end in late February 2013.
The WB approved $230 as an IBRR loan and $30 million as an IDA loan valued at a total of $410 million.

The government allocated $150 million to finance the project. As of September 2011, of the $230 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loan, only $7.7 million was spent so $222.3 million remains unspent. Of $30 million as the International development association, only $8.2 million was spent so $21.8 million remains available.

The Bank said funds previously allocated for these two projects will be sufficient to fulfil work in the areas included in the new list.

Azerbaijan has been a member of the WB since 1992. In that period, the WB assigned approximately $2.9 billion for the implementation of 43 projects.

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