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MR3: Al Ghabawi Septic Tank Facility



Project number:


Business sector:

Municipal and environmental infrastructure

Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

27 Oct 2021



PSD disclosed:

11 Feb 2021

Project Description

Provision of up to €30 million loan to finance the construction of a new 22,500 m3/day wastewater treatment facility, to replace and relocate an existing facility currently co-located at the Ain Ghazal Treatment Plant (AGTP), as well as a two-year phased operational period to ensure sustainability of the investment. The new facility will be located at Al Ghabawi and will serve approximately 5.5 million people, including 600,000 Syrians in Amman and the surrounding area.

The Bank is looking to approve an additional  €12 million to the original loan amount of €30 million, thus bringing total EBRD lending up to EUR 42 million, to finance a cost overrun after finalising the Project's tender and awarding process.

Project Objectives

Despite a significant increase in capex (primarily financed by IFIs), 20 per cent of the population in Amman and Zarqa are unconnected to the mains sewer system, creating a substantial need for a cost efficient and sustainable solution to collect, treat and dispose of individual septic tank waste effectively. The Project will replace the existing and now inadequate facility at Ain Ghazal. The Water Authority Jordan (WAJ) will construct a new dedicated septic tank wastewater treatment facility at the more remote location of Al Ghabawi (this transaction) and afterwards will decommission the septic tank facility at AGTP (the decommissioning will be done under a separate project).

Transition Impact

The Bank's MR3 Framework is designed to support the resilience of municipal infrastructure services by financing critical investments in host communities accompanied by targeted sector reform elements focusing on improving funding sustainably post investment, improving accountability through formalised performance indicators or service contracts and increasing private sector participation where feasible. Transition impact is primarily based on enhanced resilience through asset expansion or rehabilitation and specific cost reduction / revenue increase measures to contribute to the financial sustainability of operations. Additionally, the Framework supports the well governed quality through the introduction of higher standards of service quality monitoring.

The Project will support the resilience of Jordan to the refugee crisis by providing additional infrastructure capacity to mitigate environmental risk, increase access to and capacity of services and increase treated wastewater. This is needed due to the concentration of refugees and the increased pressure on the existing wastewater infrastructure in the area. It is consistent with the United Nation's ambitions of better public health provision, universal access to clean water and sanitation and facilitating a more responsible consumption and production under SDGs 3, 6 and 12. The Project is also supporting WAJ to continue its utilisation of the private sector in the provision of water and wastewater services through the 2-year phased outsourcing of the operations and maintenance of the pre-treatment facility to the private sector. The private sector will provide structured and enhanced operational training to manage the facility in perpetuity and according to the required regulations, ensuring that the benefit of the investment is realised long term.

Client Information


EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 42,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

EUR 72,000,000.00

The Project will be co-financed by a EUR 30 million grant provided by the European Union.


EBRD offers a tenor, which is above the market average and is necessary to structure the project as well as providing expertise and international procurement and environmental and social best practice.

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised A (2014 ESP).  The Project involves the development of a greenfield wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) on the outskirts of Amman for the treatment of septage collected from those parts of Amman that are not connected to the sewage network.  The Project was initially categorised as B under the 2014 ESP.  During a feasibility study for the Project it was determined that the WWTP would exceed the threshold for Category A wastewater treatment facilities (capacity exceeding 150 000 population equivalent). As a result, the Project was re-categorised as A and was subject to a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) which was disclosed on 19 November 2020. This ESIA has also supported the permitting process and an environmental permit has now been issued.

Septage is collected from individual septic tanks in the unsewered areas of Amman and the surrounding areas by tankers and is currently transported to a tanker drop off facility at AGTP. This facility is associated with various nuisance impacts including noise, odour and traffic impacts, which negatively affects nearby communities.  Following a feasibility study, a decision was taken to close the existing facility and establish a new WWTP designated for septage away from residential areas and adjacent to the Al Ghabawi solid waste landfill site.  This closure will also alleviate pressure (organic load) on the existing As Samra WWTP, which treats wastewater from the AGTP.

While the Project is associated with various benefits, particularly at the AGTP site, the development and operation thereof can result in Environmental & Social (E&S) impacts. These have been considered in the ESIA developed for the Project as part of a wider feasibility study and appropriate mitigation has been defined, including an E&S Action Plan to structure the Project in line with the EBRD's E&S standards. A Project implementation consultant will support the Project to ensure that high E&S and technical standards are maintained and to support ESAP implementation. 

Routine construction impacts, including health and safety risks, will be managed through standard mitigation measures.  The Project is located in a remote area and impacts to local communities are not expected. This has been informed by a social survey, which included engagement with stakeholders. There is limited biodiversity on site and no sensitivities have been identified. The Project site is state land and there are no land users. While located next to a large operational landfill (an EBRD project), no significant cumulative impacts are expected. The Project will adopt a formal E&S management system for both construction and operation including routine testing of influent and treated effluent.  The Project will be required to comply with EBRD's labour requirements during all phases of the Project.

The WWTP will adopt a conventional activated sludge process with sludge treatment using aerobic digestion and will treat wastewater to EU Urban Wastewater standards as well as Jordanian standards. The Project has considered various options for the disposal and/or reuse of treated wastewater. The preferred option is reuse for landscape irrigation and agriculture in support of local farmers. The process therefore, and infrastructure requirements, is still to be determined and so the current default option is discharge to a nearby wadi which eventually flows to the Zarqa River and King Talal Dam. Treated effluent will further meet Jordanian standards for irrigation as well as emerging EU requirements for water reuse.

The Project will generate sludge, which will be dried and stored on site (capacity for 7 years). There is, at this stage, no national strategy for sludge disposal and reuse in Jordan, and sludge disposal is an issue faced by all WWTPs. A sludge management study and strategy development are, however, in progress with support from various agencies and the Project will align with any such strategy as required.  Current options include disposal to landfill (the Project is located next to a landfill), reuse in agriculture/soil improvement and incineration (cement manufacture for example).  Sludge will be dried and stabilised and is expected to be suitable for agricultural purposes, with associated quality testing as required by Jordanian and EU standards.

The Project has been subject to a greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment. The Project results in an increase (42k t CO2e/year) in overall GHG emissions following the closure of the existing facility. This is mainly due to the establishment of a greenfield WWTP rather than current treatment at AGTP and at the large As-Samra WWTP. The Project will establish a GHG inventory and seek improvements to reduce emissions.  Most emissions are associated with the treatment process.

The ESIA includes a Stakeholder Engagement Plan and grievance mechanism. Physical stakeholder consultation meetings were conducted during the ESIA and permitting process and informed the ESIA. These meetings were also complemented with a social survey and other stakeholder interviews. A key issue raised was the cumulative effects of multiple existing and potentially future projects in the area. The Project has recognised these concerns and will be implementing measures to integrate and benefit the communities include the provision of treated wastewater for irrigation purposes. The ESIA was disclosed in November 2020. Due to Covid-19, alternative approaches to consultation were adopted including a virtual public meeting, which was attended by members of the local communities.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

Implementation stage:

Supervision and Implementation, Environmental and Social and Health and Safety Support to assist WAJ in supervision, and health and safety and ESAP implementation. Procurement ongoing.

Sludge Treatment Options Alignment: alignment to national strategy. Forthcoming.

Company Contact Information

Sultan Mashaqbah
+962 6 5652265
K. Hussein St. 34, Amman, Jordan

PSD last updated

29 Jul 2022

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

Business opportunities

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General enquiries

Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP 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 following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.


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