Japan helps Ukraine get Kiev’s sewage under control

Japan will lend Ukraine $873m to modernise Kiev’s Soviet-era sewage treatment plant, which is overflowing and causing terrible smells and health risks.

On 15 June the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of Ukraine to provide the low-interest loan of up to 108.2 billion yen ($873m) for a major project to modernise the Bortnychi sewage treatment plant, which treats all the sewage of Kiev (Ukraine’s capital, pictured above) and of surrounding cities as well.

Residents have complained about the smell and overflows have occurred, posing a risk to public health– Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Built between the 1960s and the 1980s, the Bortnychi plant has deteriorated and much of its mechanical and electrical equipment has exceeded its intended service life.

JICA said its sludge field is nearly full, and sludge incinerators and other facilities are urgently needed to reduce sludge volumes.

Residents have complained about the smell and overflows have occurred, posing a risk to public health, JICA said.

Since the election in February 2014 following the Maidan protests, economic conditions in Ukraine have worsened due to the war in its eastern territory. 

JICA says Ukraine’s GDP shrank by 6.9% in 2014, and is predicted to shrink by 7.5% this year.

In March 2014 Japan promised Ukraine a stabilisation assistance package of up to $1.2bn at the G7 summit held in the Hague. The Bortnychi sewage project will comprise the major part of that package.

JICA vice-president Masakazu Ichikawa, left, with Ukrainian finance minister Natalie Jaresko after the loan agreement signing (JICA)

JICA said that a belt condenser for condensing the sludge, a screw-press dryer for drying the sludge condensate, and improved fluidised bed sludge incinerators are among the areas where advanced Japanese technologies for saving energy and reducing the environmental burden are expected to be used.

An annual interest rate of 0.1% will apply to the 40-year term of the loan.

The invitation to tender for consulting services, including construction monitoring, will go out in January 2016, JICA said. International competitive bidding on construction will open after January 2017.

More information here.

Main photograph: Khreshchatyk Street, Kiev, Ukraine on New Year’s Day, 2010 (Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons)

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