ArmInfo. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing EUR 5.5 million loan to Armenia for implementation of modern solid waste management solutions in Kotayk and Gegharkunik regions. The loan amount consists of a previously signed EUR 3.5 million and a newly added EUR 2 million EBRD sovereign loan, the press-service of the EBRD reports.
The additional EUR 2 million will enable the geographic coverage of the Kotayk Solid Waste Management Project to be extended to the adjacent Gegharkunik region. The project will finance the construction of Armenia's first European Union (EU) compliant solid waste landfill, providing an integrated solid waste management solution in the Kotayk and Gegharkunik regions. The new landfill will be located in the city of Hrazdan in Kotayk Province and managed by twelve participating municipalities - Hrazdan, Abovian, Charentsavan, Tsakhkadzor, Byureghavan, Yeghvard, Nor Hachn, Sevan, Martuni, Gavar, Vardenis and Chambarak. It will operate as a commercially sustainable unit with modern solid waste management systems, covering the collection and disposal of municipal solid waste. The provision of this service will generate major environmental and social benefits for some 500,000 people in the area. This loan is generously complemented by capital grant financing of EUR 5.5 million, consisting of a EUR 3.5 million grant provided by the European Union Neighbourhood Investment Facility (EU NIF) and a EUR2.0 million grant secured from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) fund. The legal agreements for this loan were signed today in Yerevan by Armenia's Minister of Finance, the twelve participating municipalities and the EBRD. This project has received additional grant financing from several donors. The Austrian government will support the implementation of the project and the corporate development of the landfill management company. The remaining grant funds are contributed from the EBRD's Shareholders' Special Fund and the Early Transition Countries Fund.
This development represents a significant step forward in implementing the Armenian government's plans to modernise and upgrade the country's waste management system to European standards. It will serve as an example ofraising public awareness in the importance of sustainable solid waste management. Mark Davis, Head of the EBRD's Yerevan Resident Office, said: "This investment will bring substantial benefits to the region's residents and the environment, and will help to develop better public awareness of the benefits of recycling. We are grateful for the strong support from our donors for whom modernisation and environmental protection are a priority, as they are for us." Since the start of its operations in Armenia in 1992, the EBRD has invested over ?1 billion in 148 projects in the country's financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 87 per cent of investments being in the private sector.