WB begins consultations on new ecological project in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dc. 19/ Trend , N. Ismayilova/ Senior World Bank specialist for ecology Wolfhard Pohl will visit Baku on Dec. 19 to review the work carried out  during the first phase of long-term program on ecological cleaning of the Absheron peninsula, WB Baku office said.

The mission of the Bank will get familiar with preparations for implementation of the project. Large-scale work on the ecological program will begin as soon as loan agreement, which has not been signed yet, takes effect.

"Discussions are underway to work out a new project under the program. It will be entitled Ecological Standards and Norms of their Introduction. It will be fourth component of the program," WB office said.

WB Board of Directors has already approved loan worth $163.5mln.

The credit of the WB will be granted based on the conditions of the International bank of Reconstruction and Development for 17 years, with grace period of 4 years and interest rate of libor+0.05%.

The project is divided into three components which cover various governmental agencies - State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Ministry of Emergency Situations and Ministry of Economic Development. The component for the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, calling for improvement of ecological norms, standards and certification system, was excluded from the first phase of program and moved to the second one which is expected to be approved in the 2009 financial year.

The first component envisages acquiring clean-up equipment for SOCAR. In addition, technical assistance is expected to be rendered to increase the ecologic practice of SOCAR, especially preparation and implementation of strategy and policy in this regard. This component will be financed with $60mln ($61mln previously) allocated by IBRD for purchase of the equipment and $124mln by SOCAR to cover expenses on exploitation of equipment, payment of the workforce.

According to the second component, the Emergency Situations Ministry will be rendered assistance in clean-up of the territories of former iodine production plants in Ramani and Surakhani from radiocarbon coal. During the Soviet period, these plants used to produce iodine by filtering underground water from oil wells of coal granule. At present, these granules are collected and radiocarbon water emerged from the filters. WB will allocate funds for utilization of the plants. The second assistance to the Ministry envisages physical purification of the oil pollutions near the territories of the Airport of 1,000 hectare. Initially, the IBRD will allocate $74.5mln ($74mn previously) and the Government $25mln for these measures.

The domestic wastes control system is planned to be created in the line with the Economic Development Ministry, and improvement of ecological standards. The bank stands ready to provide $31.5mln for this purpose and the Government of Azerbaijan will cover $34mln.

Have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: capital@trend.az

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