Bizerte Lake Environmental Project



Project number:


Business sector:

Municipal and environmental infrastructure

Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

24 Jun 2015



PSD disclosed:

21 Mar 2014

Translated version of this PSD: French

Project Description

The EBRD is considering a loan to Office National de l’Assainissement (“ONAS”) to finance an environmental clean-up project in Lake Bizerte. This loan of up to EUR 20 million will benefit from a guarantee from the Republic of Tunisia.

The Bizerte Lake is located in Northern Tunisia and connected to the Mediterranean via a 7 kilometre channel. The project will be part of the Lake Bizerte Environmental project lead by the European Investment Bank (“EIB”), which will mobilise donor funds from the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (“NIF”). To support the project EBRD is seeking to mobilise funding from the Global Environmental Fund (“GEF”).

EBRD’s loan will focus on the wastewater components of the project. EBRD’s financing will be used to finance the expansion and rehabilitation of 3 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and network rehabilitation and extension. These investments will improve wastewater services to an estimated 400,000 inhabitants in the Governorate of Bizerte and will help alleviate contamination in Lake Bizerte.

The success of the Project will be measured by the following benchmarks:

  • Total population benefiting from improved access to wastewater services.
  • Annual m3 of wastewater treated.

Transition Impact

The main transition impact potential of the Project arises from:

  • Implementation of a Policy dialogue to identify solutions to ensure the financial and operational sustainability of ONAS. In this regard, a working group with representatives of Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Equipment, Territory Planning and Sustainable Development, Ministry of International Cooperation and Development and ONAS will be created.
  • The expected transition impact rating is ‘good’.

The Client

ONAS is the national sanitation utility. It is a public institution with financial autonomy placed under the Ministry of Equipment, Territory Planning and Sustainable Development. It provides wastewater services to 165 municipalities totalling over 6.5 million people It treats 232 million m3 of wastewater per year.

EBRD Finance

A sovereign-guaranteed loan of up to EUR 20 million for ONAS.

Project Cost

EUR 90 million including VAT co-financed by EBRD together with a EUR 40 million loan from EIB and a EUR 15 million grant from NIF.

Environmental Impact

The proposed project has been categorised B in accordance with the 2008 EBRD Environmental and Social (E&S) Policy. The project involves the upgrading and extension of sewer networks in the whole catchment area of three existing WWTPs in the cities of Bizerte, Menzel Bourguiba, Mateur to improve efficiency and add tertiary treatment including phosphorous and nitrogen removal and disinfection. The existing capacity of the WWTPs range from 4,100 m3/day (Mateur) to 26,000 m3/day (Bizerte) and with the treated wastewaters discharged into the Lake Bizerte. The project documentation provided to EBRD suggest that the investment programme meets the European Principles for Environment, to which EBRD is a signatory. The EBRD due diligence review the existing documentation and additional assessments were undertaken to structure the project and meet EBRD Performance Requirements.


Technical Cooperation

EBRD will mobilise funds from donors to support the following technical cooperation:

  • Regulatory strengthening and environmental monitoring of the industrial sector and the Bizerte Lake (EUR 0.7 million, donor to be identified).
  • Governance and institutional strengthening (EUR 1.3 million, donor to be identified). This TC includes the support of the Policy Dialogue between ONAS and the ministries of Finance, Development and International Cooperation and Equipment, Territory Planning and Sustainable Development.

Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement: Tel: +44 20 7338 6794

General enquiries

EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168

Public Information Policy (PIP)

The PIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations. Please visit the Public Information Policy page below to find out how to request a Public Sector Board Report.
Text of the PIP

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