Phase II of biggest water project in Azerbaijan to start in second half of 2013

Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov 14 /Trend A.Akhundov/

German development bank KfW will begin the second phase of the project to restore the water supply and sewage systems in Ganja and Sheki (345 and 347 kilometres respectively from Baku), in the second half of 2013, Baku office of KfW told Trend.

"The project is on schedule," the office said.

KfW is ready to provide 150 million euros of additional funding for the project. A contract to provide 83 million of these funds has already been submitted to the Government of Azerbaijan. The provision of these funds by the bank is expected before the end of 2012.

A separate financial agreement was signed by KfW for the provision of the remaining 67 million to Azerbaijan. As a result, the total amount of funding provided by the German Bank's water project, amounted to 187 million euros.

"The government continues to address the issue. These funds will be sufficient to fully meet the Sheki and Ganja water and sanitation services, as well as build modern sewage purification plants in Ganja. It is very important. These settings will neutralise the negative effects of sewage sludge on the environment," a bank spokesperson said.

The budget of the project's first stage is 55 million euro. In accordance with the records signed in Berlin in October, 2006, KfW allocated a 37 million euro loan, Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs also gave 10 million euros as a grant. The Azerbaijani government's share in the project is eight million euros.

The first phase of the project envisages measures to provide water to Sheki at 100 per cent and Ganja at 50 per cent. Further development of the Ganja water supply system is provided in the framework of the second and third phases. The main purpose of the German bank is a 100 per cent connection of consumers to the water network.

The construction work has already been started in Ganja. The work is being carried out by the Turkish company Hasalsan. A tender for the Sheki contractor was announced in May and closed on June 21. Completion of the project will be delayed until 2014 due to delays in the definition of a contractor for the construction works in Sheki.

Part of the water supply system was reconstructed at the initial stage of the project in Sheki (the current reservoir with a volume of 2000 cubic meters was recovered, including the installation of chlorination and the construction of a trunk water pipe with a length of 2.8 kilometres, (the site of water intake facilities at Kish). The subject of the tender is to improve the water supply of Sheki with a population of 75,000 people. Under the project, the construction of three new reservoirs with a capacity of 3000 cubic meters each and the reconstruction of the existing reservoir with a capacity of 1000 cubic meters are assumed.

A seven kilometre long backbone will be constructed parallel to the water source from the River Kish to the Gurdzhansk zone and the water pipes will be laid between the reservoirs. The transmission system from each reservoir to the JSC Sheki water utility will also be built.

Coverage of consulting services and a partial restoration of infrastructure in Sheki, in particular the purchase of equipment are expected through SECO funding.

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