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Belgrade to get new waste management facilities

By Olga Rosca

  • New landfill and energy-from-waste facility will replace unsanitary landfill after 40 years
  • Project addresses environmental risks from one of Europe’s largest uncontrolled landfills
  • EBRD contributing €72.25 million loan to first large-scale environmental infrastructure public-private partnership in the region

Waste that has piled up over 40 years in Belgrade’s Vinča landfill will be cleaned up and new solid waste management facilities will be constructed thanks to a joint investment by international lenders.

The EBRD is contributing a €128.5 million syndicated loan, including a loan of €72.25 million for its own account, a loan of €35 million provided by Erste Group Bank AG under the A/B loan structure, and €21 million in concessional finance funded by TaiwanICDF.

The EBRD financing will be part of a wider package including International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB) with loans of up to €72.25 million and €35 million, respectively.

The total investment will be mobilised by Beo Čista Energija Ltd., a special purpose vehicle formed by the global utility company SUEZ, the Japanese conglomerate Itochu and Marguerite Fund, a pan-European equity fund investing in renewables, energy and transport. The three companies entered a 25-year public-private partnership (PPP) with the City of Belgrade in 2017 for the first large-scale environmental infrastructure PPP investment in the Western Balkans region.

The EBRD has extensive experience in financing PPP projects and last year participated in the modernisation of Belgrade’s Nicola Tesla airport.

The investment includes the construction of an energy-from-waste facility, a facility for construction and demolition waste (CDW), the remediation, closing and aftercare of the existing landfill and the construction of a new EU-compliant landfill.

It will replace the existing landfill in Vinča, a suburb of Belgrade, which is unsanitary and reaching maximum capacity. Closing the old site – which poses a major environmental and health risk, including the pollution of the nearby river Danube – and improving solid waste management is a top priority for the government of Serbia and the City of Belgrade.

The new landfill will serve the growing population of the Serbian capital and create the conditions for the introduction of modern waste management and treatment technology in Belgrade. It will allow the city to meet the biodegradable waste landfill diversion as well as the CDW recovery objectives set by the EU Waste Framework Directive.

The project will promote the sustainability of the natural environment, support pollution prevention and reduce the degradation of ecosystems.

The energy-from-waste facility will be designed to produce energy from waste, thus contributing to reducing the dependence of Belgrade on coal and gas and boosting the share of renewable energy. It will have capacity for a volume of approximately 340,000 tonnes per year of household waste and treatment of construction and demolition waste of 210,000 tonnes per year.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €5 billion across 250 projects in the country to date. The EBRD is supporting private-sector development and the transition towards a green economy.

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