Belarus Road Sector Reform Project

Location:

Belarus

Project number:

49312

Business sector:

Transport

Notice type:

Public

Environmental category:

A

Target board date:

31 Jan 2018

Status:

Disbursing

PSD disclosed:

13 Oct 2017

Translated version of this PSD: Russian

Project Description

The provision of debt financing for the reconstruction and widening of the remaining 15 km long road section of the Minsk outer (second) ring road – road section Sloboda – Papernya km 0.000 – km 14.770.

Project Objectives

Contribution to economic development and operational efficiency from improved road infrastructure and services. The Project will optimise the connectivity around the capital between important industrial centres and tourist destinations in Minsk oblast, including with the Minsk international airport, and will provide a better link between the M2 and M3 motorways; it will facilitate the flow of goods and people and will divert traffic (especially transit traffic) away from the Minsk city centre.

Transition Impact

The transition impact is expected to be derived from road sector institutional strengthening through the introduction of a comprehensive set of policy recommendations in the areas of road sector financing, road sector management and institutional reform measures. The Project will also support the economic development of Belarus by improving transit connections and corridors.

Client Information

BELARUS SOVEREIGN

The Borrower is the Republic of Belarus represented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

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

EBRD Finance Summary

USD 43,050,000

A sovereign loan to the Republic of Belarus in the amount of up to 43,050,000 to finance the Project.

Total Project Cost

EUR 43,050,000

Total Project costs are currently estimated at EUR 43,050,000(net of VAT). The Borrower will be responsible for the funding of all VAT and tax related costs, as applicable.

Environmental and Social Summary

Category A (2014). The Project comprises the reconstruction and widening from two to four lanes of a 15km long road section of the Minsk outer ring road (P-80 road: Sloboda-Papernya). The Project will complete the Minsk outer ring road construction and will provide an improved link between two motorways (M2 Minsk - International Airport “Minsk” and M3 Minsk-Vitebsk) as well as effective interconnection around the capital.

To supplement the Bank’s environmental and social due diligence (ESDD), an independent environmental consultant was retained to review the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment/OVOS that was prepared in accordance with the national EIA requirements as part of the Feasibility Study completed by the Client. The Bank’s consultant completed a gap analysis of the OVOS documentation against the Bank’s 2014 Performance Requirements (PRs), completed an additional Social Impact Assessment and also assisted in preparing an information disclosure package that included (i) Gap Analysis Report, (ii) Non-Technical Study (NTS), (iii) Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP), (iv) Preliminary national Environmental Impact Assessment/OVOS, (v) Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and (vi) an Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP). All documents have been disclosed in English and Russian on the Bank’s website and on the Client’s website on 11 August 2017.

The Client with the help of the independent environmental consultant undertook three rounds of stakeholder engagement and public hearings in July-August, September-October and November. During consultations the Client and the independent environmental consultant have received a number of written requests from the local population, which were primarily related to the road section within the village Okolitsa, requesting for the road to by-pass the village and for improvements to a road junction within the village boundaries. The Public have also expressed concerns regarding the potential increase of the noise level and air emissions from the intensified traffic through the village, the use of other secondary inter village roads, road safety and improvements of the adjacent territory.

Following the results of these discussions with stakeholders, the Client and the designer undertook additional surveys and updated the EIA Report in November 2017. All updated documents have been disclosed in English and Russian on the Bank’s website and on the Client’s website on 14 December 2017.

Specifically, the Client, jointly with the designer, has been working to address all the concerns raised during the public meetings. Three alternatives were considered during the design process (project implementation, by-pass and zero alternative) and the comparison analysis concluded that the expected improvement of the road’s performance properties and traffic conditions through the implementation of the current project will reduce vehicle emissions and with the proposed noise protection measures, the acoustics at residential areas will be normalised. By-pass option was declined due to the construction restrictions.

In early December 2017, the Project, based on the revised design, received a positive conclusion of state ecological expertise of the Republic of Belarus.

According to the ESIA, potential environmental, health & safety and social risks and impacts include, but are not limited to: ambient noise and air quality, especially in the vicinity of the village of Okolitsa; the crossing of the Domelka River and other waterbodies (and related management of surface water run-off); and the need to minimise construction related disturbance in sections located adjacent to the Prilepsky Landscape Protected Area. The ESIA further identified that the Project has been planned taking into account the need to minimise physical and/or economic displacement of the local communities. As a result, project implementation is not expected to result in involuntary resettlement and/or economic displacement, though some acquisition of agricultural lands may still be required.

The ESIA assessed potential impacts of the Project on vegetation and wildlife and identified the key measures, including crossing points for wildlife, aimed at minimisation of these impacts. The ESIA confirmed that no significant biodiversity impacts are expected (with the present design) as it is an existing road, built in 1960s and extension of the road width will not affect any sensitive receptors or areas. The Project will not affect the sites of Natura 2000 and will have no significant impact on ecosystem services, priority biodiversity features and/or critical habitats.

The Project is structured to comply with the Bank's Performance Requirements and national requirements. The ESDD identified measures to be implemented as part of good international practice and these have been included in an agreed Environmental and Social Action Plan. To ensure effective contractor management, it was suggested during the ESDD that tender documents will incorporate all mitigation measures that contractors should implement or be aware of. It has also been recommended that a review of labour and social policies are undertaken and incorporated into contractual arrangements with contractors. It is also required to develop and regularly update environmental and social management plans for the Project.

The road safety audit of the Project has been conducted separately in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2008/96/EU “On road infrastructure safety management”. Preliminary results have confirmed that implementation of the Project is expected to result in road safety improvements. All road safety recommendations will be included into road safety action plan and covenanted as Conditions Precedent to Loan Effectiveness mitigation measures to be part of the Project.

The Client will be required to provide the Bank with annual environmental and social reports. The Bank will be monitor the Project’s performance and compliance with the ESAP, regulatory requirements and the EBRD’s Performance Requirements by reviewing these reports and periodic site visits as required. There is no GET component associated with this Project.

Technical Cooperation

The following Technical Co-operation assignments are envisaged as part of the Project:

  • Environment and Social Due Diligence;
  • Road sector reform support (CEI funding);
  • Implementation support.

Company Contact Information

Mr Sergey A. Leonchik
Leonchik.S@mintrans.mtk.by
Deputy Head of main road department (GUAD), Ministry

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