MR3: West Irbid Wastewater Project



Project number:


Business sector:

Municipal and environmental infrastructure

Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

31 Oct 2017



PSD disclosed:

10 Aug 2017

Translated version of this PSD: Arabic

Project Description

An EBRD loan of EUR 25 million, to be co-financed by investment grants of EUR 20 million from the EU's MADAD Fund, USD 2.5 million the Global Concessional Finance Facility and EUR 5.9 million from the EBRD Shareholders Special Fund, to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The funding will finance the construction of a wastewater network in 15 towns in West Irbid governorate, enabling the towns to connect to the wastewater network including to existing wastewater treatment plants (the Project). The transaction is a part of the Bank's wider engagement with the Water Authority Jordan (WAJ), aimed at developing and implementing a comprehensive wastewater investment programme in order to resolve the country's current issues in the sector, caused by the rapid population growth, including an influx of Syrian refugees, which placed unprecedented strain on the wastewater system.

Project Objectives

The financing package forms part of the EBRD's Municipal Resilience Refugee Response Framework. Irbid governorate is located 83 km north of Amman, with its borders extending to the Jordanian-Syrian borders. The eastern regions of the province include the highway connecting Syria and Jordan, while the western-northern part overlooks the Golan Heights. The proximity of Irbid to the Syrian border has resulted in a significant number of Syrian refugees resettling in the city of Irbid and in the towns surrounding it. The consequent population growth has placed an unprecedented strain on the wastewater network, particularly in the towns lying to the East and West of Irbid which suffer from outdated wastewater collection infrastructure. Improvements will be achieved by providing first time sanitation to residents and thus addressing urgent socio-economic needs of both the local population and the refugee community in the Project area. The improvements are likely to circumvent potential health issues and related economic losses in the Project area.

Transition Impact


  • Infrastructure service financial sustainability through tariff reform: Introduction of municipal water tariff increases (in addition to those introduced as part of the East Zarqa Project) in accordance to the MWI Action Plan to improve sustainability of the operation and maintenance of the water and wastewater infrastructure by reducing the gap between costs and tariff revenues.

  • Improvements in governance and institutional building: The Bank supported a nationwide benchmarking exercise in Jordan, which was concluded late 2015 and has since supported a regional benchmarking programme, which has further assisted the Jordanian water utilities in their transition through improved benchmarking and performance support as compared to their regional counterparts.

  • Private sector participation and demonstration effect. The Bank, in coordination with other stakeholders and financiers, will pursue the introduction of private sector O&M to the water and wastewater infrastructure in the North of Jordan to ensure sustainability of the services.

Client Information


Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 25,000,000.00

Co-financed by investment grants of EUR 20 million from the EU's MADAD Fund, USD 2.5 million the Global Concessional Finance Facility and EUR 5.9 million from the EBRD Shareholders Special Fund.

Total Project Cost

EUR 52,719,657

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B (ESP, 2014).  The Project is expected to result in environmental and social (E&S) benefits through the provision of first time wastewater network connections to 105,000 people.  Although the construction of the Project may be associated with E&S impacts,  independent E&S due diligence has shown that these impacts are generally site specific, limited and can be readily addressed.  An action plan (ESAP) has been agreed with Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ)to ensure that the Project is constructed and operated in line with the EBRD's E&S requirements.  This ESAP is similar to other ESAPs agreed with the WAJ.

E&S due diligence has been conducted by an independent consultant as part of a feasibility study and included a review of current wastewater practises, an assessment of potential Project E&S impacts, a gender assessment and a review of E&S provisions and management capacities within WAJand its subsidiary, YMC. 

Current wastewater management practices include the use of cess pits and septic tanks.  The Project will replace such infrastructure with a sewage network including household connections. The feasibility study has sought to avoid and reduce E&S impacts through routing the main sewage lines away from developed areas and instead following existing wadis to avoid land acquisition issues and maximise the use of gravity over the need for pump stations.  Land required for the Project is largely state land but WAJwill be required to develop a land acquisition and compensation plan to ensure that land is acquired in line with the Bank's requirements and to avoid and reduce any potential adverse livelihood impacts. While some biodiversity is present in the wadis the sewage lines can be routed to avoid impacts to biodiversity.  Further, the sewage line corridors will be reinstated. Pump stations will also be established away from developed areas to avoid nuisance related impacts.  Local sewage lines will be installed within the villages and have the potential to cause disruption and nuisance impacts.  This activity will, however, be of a temporary nature and managed with appropriate mitigation measures.

The Project will be subject to a local EIA process which will draw on the E&S due diligence and further refine a set of mitigation measures for Project development.  The ESAP also requires the development of an E&S management system for the Project with associated procedures to apply during construction to contractors, including contractor oversight, and during operation.   These procedures will address impacts such as noise and vibration, dust control, site reinstatement, worker and community health and safety and emergency response.

The Project will connect the villages to an existing wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).  This plant has sufficient capacity to accept current additional wastewater flow but will need to be expanded, or new WWTP developed, to accommodate future projected flows up to 2040.  A review of WWTP performance shows that despite substantial organic loading the WWTP still achieves a level of pollutant reduction required by the EU Urban Wastewater Directive.  It is, however, recommended that additional primary sedimentation is installed. 

The Project will remove the need for cess pits and septic tanks avoiding odour and health issues and potential soil and groundwater impacts.  Moving to a sewage network system will further reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), in the region of 1000 tons of CO2 per year, through the elimination of the need for tankers and the elimination of cess pits.  Further GHG reduction will also be achieved through a move from anaerobic breakdown to aerobic treatment of wastewater.  Total GHG reduction is in the process of being determined. The elimination of tankers and cess pits/septic tanks may result in livelihood impacts to those providing such services.  Avoiding and reducing these impacts will be included in a Project livelihood restoration plan.

The feasibility study has considered affordability issues and confirmed that for average income households tariffs and connection fees are expected to be affordable as they are expected to be cheaper than septic tank services.  For lower income households and vulnerable groups there are likely to be affordability constraints and these can only be addressed through a capital grant, which is planned.

The Project is likely to require a substantial workforce during construction which will exceed local worker availability.  The Project will be required to develop a labour and employment plan including procedures and commitments, and the necessary resources, focussing on such areas as equal opportunities, capacity building, working conditions and labour practices, worker accommodation and health and safety in line with the EBRD's requirements. A Gender Action Plan will need to be developed and will include procedures and commitments related to Equal Opportunities of local and Syrian women as well as raise gender awareness throughout the entire Project. A grievance mechanism will also be required and accessible by all contractors and carried on through to operations.

In order to meet the Bank's requirements for stakeholder engagement and information disclosure, the due diligence included the development of a Stakeholder Engagement Plan.  This will be implemented by Project appointed community liaison officers and includes a grievance mechanism.  Due consideration will be required to ensure that local and Syrian are included in stakeholder engagement activities. An ESAP has been developed for the Project and includes the actions described above to align the Project with the Bank's requirements and mitigate potential E&S impacts.


A Project Procurement, Tender and Implementation Support Consultant has now been appoint and will provided support on E&S matters including implementation of the ESAP and mitigation and management of E&S issues associated with the Project.

Non-Technical SummaryEnglish | Arabic
Stakeholder Engagement PlanEnglish | Arabic

Technical Cooperation


Technical and Environmental Review and Due Diligence: review of the existing studies and gap analysis on both technical and environmental findings and recommendations as well as an Environmental and Social Assessment (E&S due diligence) in-line with EBRD E&S requirements. The cost of the assignment is EUR 320,000, financed by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund. Completed.


Procurement, Tender and Implementation Support to assist WAJ in tender preparation and Project implementation. Including, supervision engineer and health and safety and ESAP implementation. The cost of this assignment is up to EUR 1.4 million, financed by the Community Resilience Sub Account of the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.

Benchmarking Programme for phase two of the national benchmarking programme, to assist water utilities improve their performance, ensuring that operations are fully integrated and result in the highest level of operating efficiency. The cost of the assignment is EUR 110,000, financed by the Transition Fund. Completed.

Company Contact Information

Iyad Dahiyat

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