EBRD helps Turkish municipality improve water services

By EBRD  Press Office

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The EBRD is continuing to support the modernisation of water and wastewater infrastructure in Turkey with a loan of up to €20 million to finance the construction of Mezitli wastewater treatment plant in Mersin, a Mediterranean port city located in the south of Turkey, with a population of close to one million people.

The loan will be extended to Mersin Water and Wastewater Administration (Meski), the water utility company servicing the city and will be the first loan by an international financial institution to a Turkish water utility backed by a municipal guarantee.

The EBRD loan will be used to finance the design and construction of the Mezitli wastewater treatment plant – a second wastewater treatment plant in the city to serve the western part of Mersin. The capacity of the existent Karaduvar wastewater plant, built in 2009, can service 80 per cent of the city’s population, and a large amount of wastewater is discharged into the Mediterranean Sea without prior treatment.

As part of the project, Meski will outsource the operation of the new wastewater treatment plant to a private contractor for a period of five years. .

The project will significantly improve the quality and reliability of wastewater treatment services in the city of Mersin, bringing them in line with both European Union and Turkey’s standards, and will reduce water pollution in Mersin Bay and the Mediterranean Sea.

The EBRD financing is complemented by technical assistance grants of up to €735,000, which will be used to assist Meski’s further commercialisation by introducing key performance indicators, to support the project’s implementation and to explore outsourcing of further functions such as meter servicing and maintenance.  The grants are provided by the Slovak Republic’s bilateral technical cooperation fund with the Bank, and the Austrian Fund for the Municipal Infrastructure.

“Supporting modernisation of municipal infrastructure by increasing private sector participation in this area is one of the EBRD’s priorities in Turkey. We are delighted to assist Mersin Water and Wastewater Administration in its efforts to raise the standards of services to international levels, reduce pollution and further improve the quality of life in the city. Moreover the EBRD’s participation in the project will help Meski strengthen its operational efficiency,” said Sevki Acuner, EBRD Deputy Director for Turkey.

"We are very pleased to be able to attract financing from such a reputable international financial institutions as the EBRD.  This cooperation allows us to build on the positive results achieved so far and to continue to improve the water and wastewater infrastructure in Mersin, to the benefit of city's residents. We also value greatly the technical assistance provided by the EBRD and international donors, which will enable Meski to strengthen its operations," said Kamil Ulgen,  the General Manager of Meski.

Since the beginning of its operations in Turkey in 2009, the EBRD has invested over €1.8 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy.

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