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GrCF Ulaanbaatar Solid Waste Modernisation Project



Project number:


Business sector:

Municipal and environmental infrastructure

Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

18 Jul 2017



PSD disclosed:

20 Mar 2017

Translated version of this PSD: Mongolian

Project Description

The Bank will provide a sovereign loan of up to USD 9.7 million (EUR 9.1 million) to Mongolia on-lend the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar (the "City" or "Ulaanbaatar"), the largest city in Mongolia, to finance the City's Priority Investment Programme ("PIP"). The PIP includes investments designed to expand the City's landfilling capacity and build a Construction and Demolition Waste ("CDW") plant. Additionally, the machinery and equipment necessary for the landfill and CDW plant operations will be purchased. The Project will be co-financed by investment grants of USD 5.0 million (EUR 4.5 million) from the EU Asia Investment Facility.

Project Objectives

  • Decrease pollution: the City's existing landfilling capacity is limited, and the quality of the existing landfill sites is sub-standard. The construction waste increasingly generated by the growing City is dumped into the existing landfills or elsewhere, without being crushed or recycled. The Project's objective is to help avoid environmental pollution related to the lack of landfilling capacity and introduce proper management practices in relation to construction waste. The Project's substantial environmental benefits include reduction of CO2 emissions (on average 18 thousand tonnes per annum or 300 thousand tonnes by 2037).
  • Prepare the City for a Green City Action Plan ("GCAP"): the Project will be one of the first subprojects under the Bank's Green City Framework ("GrCF"). The comprehensive GCAP will be developed for the City to identify priority environmental challenges and suggest corresponding green investments. With a number of environmental issues and under-developed infrastructure, Ulaanbaatar is an appropriate candidate for practical launch of the GrCF.
  • Test the structure of direct lending to the City: this is envisioned to be the first sub-sovereign project in Mongolia.

Transition Impact

Strong Good

This sub-project's key potential sources of transition impact run along the same lines as the GrCF. It will contribute to and covenant the development of a GCAP, which will take a strategic, multisector approach to identify and prioritise environmental challenges, and outline appropriate action to address those challenges. While the Project will start prior to finalisation of the GCAP, it will address significant environmental challenges and pursue sector reforms aimed at operational and financial sustainability through the comprehensive TC package. More specifically:

Framework for markets

  • GCAP Development: The Project will covenant and support development of a comprehensive GCAP process. The GCAP will require the City to assess, identify, benchmark and prioritise environmental issues, and identify appropriate mitigation action and investments. The plan will set a vision and benchmarks for the City's sustainable development, and help municipal authorities and key stakeholders to prioritise and make informed decisions regarding investment and reforms aimed at addressing the challenges identified. As such, the process of developing the GCAP will improve the municipality's governance of environmental issues.

Demonstration of new replicable behaviour and activities

Implementation of the GCAP: The GrCF is expected to demonstrate the development and effective implementation of GCAPs and how they can help address core environmental challenges in a cost-efficient and financially sustainable manner. If successful, the GrCF approach will be rolled out to other COOs and increasingly mobilise additional funding and private investment for priority environmental projects.

Demonstration of successful restructuring

Commercialisation: The Project will have a positive demonstration effect for commercialisation in Mongolia by providing a TC for corporate development and building of institutional capacity. The same TC will provide the City with a financial and operational performance improvement programme.

Client Information


EBRD Finance Summary

USD 9,700,000.00

Total Project Cost

USD 14,700,000.00

Environmental and Social Summary

The Project has been categorised B in accordance with the EBRD Environmental and Social Policy 2014. The Project will provide significant environmental and social benefits to the Muncipality of Ulaanbaatar and surrounding communities through the provision of a landfill designed to EU standards, and the construction of a new Construction and Demolition Waste (CDW) plant. The Project will rehabilitate waste collection, transportation, recycling and disposal services, increased operational efficiency and environment and hygiene standards.   However, policy dialogue on a comprehensive waste management approach at the City level to pursue sector reforms and significant further investments, as described below, will be needed and supported by post-signing TCs to achieve full compliance with EU Waste Framework Directive requirements in this area. On that basis, derogation from the 2014 Environmental and Social Policy (“ESP”) is sought.

The Environmental and Social Due Diligence (“ESDD”) has confirmed that the adverse future environmental and/or social impacts arising from the implementation of the Project are site-specific and readily identified and addressed through adequate mitigation measures.

The ESDD has been undertaken by the independent consultants as part of the Feasibility Study and included an independent environmental and social audit of the Company's current operations, facilities and environmental and social management capabilities, an analysis of potential environmental and social issues associated with the proposed Priority Investment Programme (PIP).

Project implementation will allow approximately 25 percent of City’s MSW to be disposed of in an EU compliant landfill and the EU requirements relating to recovery, re-use and recycling of construction and demolition waste to be met. However, the new landfill capacity would not be sufficient to dispose of all the non-hazardous waste produced in Ulaanbaatar, two existing dumpsites, Tsagaan Davaa (TDDS) and Morin Davaa (MDDS), which is adjacent to the new proposed landfill, will continue to operate alongside the new landfill. Closure of these dumpsites and construction of EU compliant landfills to replace them would require an additional USD 40-60 million, which is not in the financial reach of the Company.

As per the existing situation in the City, the hazardous waste from the households cannot be separately collected; a small quantity of hazardous waste will mix in the municipal solid waste and will be disposed in the landfill. Considering the location of the landfill, robust design and the operational measures that will be put in place, - the mixing of this small quantity is not expected to result in any significant risk for environment or human health.

Significant further investments and improvements will be required on the City level to replace the remaining dumpsites with EU compliant MSW landfills as well as to provide separate collection and segregation of waste, including hazardous waste, and to build EU compliant disposal facilities for hazardous waste.

To investigate the hydrogeological condition of the site, test drillings were conducted and confirmed no underground water up to -40 meters from the surface and also that the natural conditions beneath the new landfill site provide a low permeability clay barrier. With scarce precipitation, the site is generally dry and no leachate is observed at the existing landfill. This, in conjunction with the proposed double lining system comprising of an engineered clay barrier and High Density Polyethylene (“HDPE”) liner will result in a low risk of groundwater contamination and ensure compliance with the EU Landfill Directive.

The nearest community to the landfill site is located 1.2 km north of the proposed landfill site with the nearest household at 700m. After about 40 years of operation of the existing landfill, the groundwater quality at this community shows that the measured parameters are within the acceptable limits of Mongolian and WHO standards except for “colour” slightly exceeding Mongolian Standard at one well. It is assumed that the well water is sourced from the Tuul River via baseflow.

The ESDD has confirmed that there are no designated natural protection sites or any natural sensitive receptors or cultural heritage or known archaeological sites in the proximity to the proposed project location. The new site is adjacent to the existing dumpsite and has been already disturbed by various construction activities and traffic and no additional adverse impact on biodiversity or cultural heritage is expected.

The ESDD also confirmed that the project site is state-owned and no new land acquisition will be necessary. However, the presence of about 100 informal waste pickers at the existing landfill pose a significant health and safety risk for the waste pickers and a challenge for safe dumpsite operations, such that alternative livelihoods will need to be identified and, in some cases compensation and assistance for physical displacement will need to be provided. The Environmental and Social Action Plan requires the Company to develop and implement a Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP) based on the baseline data gathered and analysis presented in the Livelihood Restoration Framework (LRF) developed during August-September 2017. The LRF assesses livelihood impacts on waste pickers and identifies livelihood restoration measures. It also outlines stakeholder engagement activities and the grievance mechanism to be put in place through the LRP. Development and adoption of a full Livelihood Restoration Plan is required prior to project construction works commencing and the implementation of the LRP will be closely monitored. Implementation support will be provided under the Corporate Development and Institutional Capacity Building in solid waste sector TC.

The due diligence investigations showed that the Company has weak EHSS management capabilities and underdeveloped EHSS management system, and that its current occupational health and safety and stakeholder engagement practices require improvement to meet EBRD's Performance Requirements (PRs). Company’s facilities are currently in poor operating condition resulting in unreliable and low quality solid waste management service.

An Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) to address the necessary mitigation measures and improvements has been agreed with the Company. The ESAP requires the development of the Environmental Impact Assessment including public consultation and disclosure at the detailed design stage according to the national requirements; development and implementation of  a comprehensive Environmental and Social Management Plan (“ESMP”) specifically focused to construction activities, development of an H&S management system to include company policy, requirements for risk assessments, development of existing landfill closure plan and hazardous waste management plan; preventative measures including Personal Protection Equipment, training, regular inspection, documentation and reporting, emergency prevention, preparedness and response;  traffic management; development and implementation of public awareness campaigns among local communities disseminating information on efficient waste management practices and implementation of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan (“SEP”), inclusive of the grievance mechanism. These E&S management system plan and procedures will be designed to cover for the new landfill, CDW plant and as well as the adjacent existing dumpsite.

E&S considerations and requirements to start a policy dialogue on waste segregation and recycling and hazardous waste management have also been incorporated into the associated post-signing TCs including Project Implementation Support (PIS) and Corporate Development and Institutional Capacity Building (CDICB) Programme to assist the Client in building their EHSS management capacity and implementation of the Environmental and Social Action Plan, Stakeholder Engagement Plans and the annual environmental and social reporting requirements to the Bank as well as development of GCAP.

The project components will be monitored in terms of their environmental and social performance and implementation of the ESAP and SEP through regular engagement of the ESD specialist to oversee the work of PIU and CDICB consultants, also through annual E&S reports and independent implementation audits when deemed necessary.

Technical Cooperation

The Project is expected to benefit from the following Technical Co-operation assignments:

Pre Loan Signing

TC 1: Feasibility Study including financial, technical, and environmental and social due diligence, an economic rate of return analysis of the proposed investment, and an assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation recommendations. EUR 280,000, financed by the Government of Japan.

TC 2: Mongolia - Creditworthiness Assessment of the Municipality of Ulaanbaatar. The TC supported financial analysis and forecast of the City's budget and preparation of a report on the City's creditworthiness to provide the base data for Bank assessment. EUR 39,000, financed by the EBRD.

Post Loan Signing

TC 3: Project Implementation Support. The TC will support the Project Implementation Unit with engineering design, procurement, preparation and evaluation of tenders, contract award and administration, financial control, Project management and reporting. The assignment's cost is estimated at EUR 600,000, proposed to be financed by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund ("SSF").

TC 4: Corporate Development and Institutional Capacity Building in the Solid Waste Sector.

The TC will assist the City, the Company and the Government in the following areas relating to the solid waste sector: (a) developing tariff setting mechanisms based on the full cost recovery concept and a uniform tariff (including collection, transportation and landfilling); (b) improving revenue
collection in the sector, and (c) advise on institutional and legislative developments as regards hazardous waste and construction and demolishing waste. The TC will also (d) support institutional development in the form of operational, financial and corporate governance improvements to secure the sustainability of solid waste management and (e) advise on measures aimed at enhancing public ownership by encouraging recycling, reuse and safe disposal, increasing public participation in maintenance of sustainable waste management practices and raising public awareness on issues related to Project implementation and resource efficiency. The assignment's cost is estimated at EUR 300,000, proposed to be financed by the SSF.

TC 5: City Debt Management. The TC will aim at streamlining debt management and reporting in the City. This will include clear identification of the City's direct and contingent obligations and monitoring of the sustainable debt level. The assignment's cost is estimated at EUR 100,000, proposed to be financed by an international donor or the ETC Fund.

TC 6: Environmental Impact Assessment and Preparation of the Livelihood Restoration Plan.

The estimated cost of the assignment is EUR 200,000, to be financed by EU AIF.

TC 7: Green City Action Plan ("GCAP") and Policy Dialogue i to comprehensively assess the City's environmental performance and prioritise actions and investments that support green city development. The estimated cost of the assignment is EUR 300,000, to be financed by the Government of Korea.

Company Contact Information

Ulziibayar Gonchig
+976 11327662

Business opportunities

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