Regional Bridges and M3 Road Rehabilitation

Location:

Belarus

Project number:

51090

Business sector:

Transport

Notice type:

State

Environmental category:

A

Approval date:

13 Nov 2019

Status:

Signed

PSD disclosed:

10 Sep 2019

Project Description

Provision of a € 259 million sovereign loan, in two tranches, to the Republic of Belarus to co-finance the reconstruction and modernisation of 12 regional bridges and M3 Minsk-Vitebsk road section on North-South Corridor (Project).

The identified 12 bridges are in dilapidated conditions, which require an immediate rehabilitation to avoid bridges closure. The completion of the M3 (Minsk-Vitebsk section) rehabilitation is a priority for the Government and is part of a comprehensive road rehabilitation programme on main corridors, which continues to focus on Belarus's transit potential.

Project Objectives

The Project will support Belarus' economic development and bring operational efficiency from improved regional infrastructure through reconstruction of bridges and will facilitate transportation efficiency on the North-South corridor.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 67

The Project will support economic development and regional integration in Belarus by enhancing connectivity along the key transport and trade corridors linking neighbouring countries (connecting Russian Federation, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine). The Project will target institutional and governance improvements in the Belarus road sector, with a focus on road safety. The Project will also involve a strategic road network risk assessment to identify high risk areas with a supporting mitigation investment programme to be developed, undertaken and managed with the involvement of newly trained road safety engineers.

Client Information

BELARUS SOVEREIGN

The loan will be for the benefit of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which has overall responsibility for the road sector and will be responsible for the implementation of the Project.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 259,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

EUR 326,529,984.00

Environmental and Social Summary

Tranche 1 is categorised B (2014 ESP). The independent environmental and social due diligence ("ESDD") of the Company and the project has confirmed that the Tranche 1 (largely associated with the bridge works) will result in environmental and social benefits and safety improvements and that any adverse future environmental and social impacts will be temporary in nature and primarily limited to the construction activities. The ESDD has further confirmed that the Borrower's overall capacity, and related EHSS management systems, is generally aligned with the Bank's Performance Requirements (PRs). Further, the Borrower is an existing client of the Bank and has demonstrated satisfactory performance on the previous projects.

Local EIAs (OVOS) have been undertaken in accordance with national requirements to evaluate the risks and impacts associated with each of the 12 bridges. Findings from the ESDD  has identified that the OVOS reports are found to be of good quality and in line with Belarus national requirements (to be confirmed by the State Environmental Review). Disclosure of the project related information and public engagement was organised and completed in accordance to the national requirements for each bridge. The ESDD confirms that reconstruction and replacement of the old bridges will significantly improve operational safety and will improve storm water collection and treatment.

Whilst the project is generally found to be structured in compliance with EBRD PRs, the ESDD has identified a number of gaps to be further addressed. Stakeholder engagement activities will need to be improved according to the developed Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) including enhanced communication with the local communities and road users during the construction stage. Occupation, health and safety (OHS) risks are related only to the construction phase and will be further elaborated and included into Construction Environmental and Social Management Plan by the contractors.  Whilst land acquisition is not expected to directly affect any households or businesses, some additional information is still required for a few areas and follow-up assessment might be required. No significant negative biodiversity impact is expected, but additional assessments and monitoring will be carried out for two bridges prior to construction. Although no issues related to cultural heritage have been identified in the OVOS reports, additional archaeological surveys are required at the next project design stage. A road safety audit will also be completed.

An Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been developed to address the issues raised above, and also to further improve environmental and social management at all stages of the project implementation, including the following actions: improvements of contractors and supply chain management; preparation and implementation of a Construction Environmental and Social Management Plan; development of a structured and integrated Environmental Health and Safety Management System; improvements in water monitoring, formalising and developing better labour and OHS practices; safety and emergency response procedures during construction. This will comprise also the development of a formal human resources policy including  standards for working conditions and employment policies (non-discrimination, promotion of equal opportunities); the introduction of employment contracts; improvement of safety at workplaces during construction; training programmes; a workers grievance mechanism; obtaining and maintaining all applicable permits.

Tranche 2 is categorised A and will require a full Environmental Social Impact Assessment as per the Bank's PRs. The ESIA Disclosure Package will need to be disclosed for a minimum of 120 days.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

The following EBRD-funded Technical Co-operation assignments are envisaged as part of this Project:

Pre-signing: Environment and social due diligence support.

Post-signing: Reform implementation assistance.

Company Contact Information

Mr Sergey A. Leonchik
Leonchik.S@mintrans.gov.by
+375 17 359 81 53
www.mintrans.gov.by
Head of road development department (GUAD), Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Belarus, 220029, Minsk, Chicherina, 21

PSD last updated

14 Feb 2020

Understanding Transition

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

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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 compliance@ebrd.com. 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.

Project Complaint Mechanism (PCM)

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 accountability mechanism.

The accountability mechanism 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 our webpage to find out how to submit a complaint through the confidential online form, by email, mail or telephone. We are available to discuss your concerns and answer any questions you may have about the submission or handling of complaints. Complainants’ identities may be kept confidential upon request.

Please note that after the appointment of the new mechanism Head in 2020, the revised Project Accountability Policy and Guidance will come into effect to guide case handling.

 

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