The EBRD is considering providing a €1.5 million loan to Georgia to finance urgently needed water supply and wastewater improvements in Tskaltubo. At present the City has 2 hours of water supply per day, and wastewater is discharged untreated into open drainage canals. The project will restore reliable water supply and rehabilitate proper wastewater handling. Institutional aspects such as commercialisation of the water utility would also be addressed to ensure future sustainability of the water supply operations.
The operation is part of a framework to address water rehabilitation needs in several cities in Georgia. In conjunction with the physical investments, the Bank works closely with the Water Supply Regional Development Agency to provide institution building support to the water sector. TCs 4 and 5 below cover the entire water sector.
The Georgian water sector is presently undergoing reform. The country’s water companies are being merged into three regional companies. The Tskaltubo Water Company has recently become part of the West Water Company. The organisational structure of Tskaltubo’s former water company is now a local service centre. Transition impact of the project will be at regional level, with additional assistance to improved service provision at local level.
The transition impact will likely be achieved through:
Performance improvement and commercialisation. Within the frames of the proposed project the Bank will provide Technical Cooperation for Corporate Development of the West Water Company during its consolidation. The TC will help identify and implement measures to improve revenue collection; staffing levels; financial management and capital investment planning; unaccounted for water; organisational efficiency; and customer relations and handling of customer complaints. This will also result in greater transparency and improved corporate governance.
The new tariff policy as presented by GNEWRC will create an economic incentive for the rational consumption and conservation of water by implementing a new tariff structure. Without a functioning service, tariff increases are difficult to implement. With service levels restored, the Company will be able to set tariffs at a sustainable level in line with the GNEWRC methodology.
Conditionality in the agreements would obligate the City and the Company to take an active approach to cutting off illegal connections, which will also assist in the Company’s commercialisation and reinforce the concept that water is a resource
Skills and knowledge transfer will take place during the Technical Co-operation Programmes through the PIU support and Corporate Development Programme.
- Tskaltubo is targeted by the Government as an area for further development in the tourism sector. The project would provide basic infrastructure for economic development.
The Bank is highly additional as long term financing from commercial banks is not available in Georgia at the current time. By combining its loan with capital grants, the Bank will facilitate implementation of the important investment programme within affordability constraints.
The EBRD loan would be provided to Georgia and on-lent to the West Regional Water Company for investments in Tskaltubo.
The proposal is for a loan of €1.5 million to Georgia on-lent to the West Water Company.
The total project cost is estimated to be up to €9.0 million. While the Bank would lend €1.5 million, a capital investment grant of €5 million and TC grants of €1.2 million for pre-signing and post-signing TC support are considered from international donors. In addition, there would be a €1.3 million local contribution.
Screened B in accordance with EBRD's 2008 Environmental and Social Policy. The project will improve efficiency of water supply and wastewater collection in Tskaltubo, thus providing uninterrupted access to safe drinking water, preventing pollution of the watercourses and improving public health.
The environmental and social due diligence is on-going and will include a review of the existing feasibility reports to assess the Company's current environmental and social management systems and the Company's past and current performance against EBRD's Performance Requirements (PRs), and an environmental and social analysis of any potential environmental and social impacts and benefits of the priority investment programme (PIP). An Environmental and Social Action Plan will be prepared and agreed with the Company to address any environmental and social issues identified during the due diligence to achieve and maintain compliance with the Bank's PRs within a reasonable time-frame. The Client will develop a Stakeholder Engagement Plan, including a grievance mechanism, and will release information on environmental and social performance and a summary of the agreed Action Plan to stakeholders. This PSD will be updated when the results of due diligence are known.
Four technical co-operation assignments will support project and institutional development as follows:
TC 1: Feasibility Study (€400,000 funded by World Bank) for a financial, technical and environmental due diligence on the proposed project (completed);
- TC 2: Audit of Tskaltubo Water Company (€32,000 funded by the MEI team budget) for an IFRS audit of the accounts of the Tskaltubo Water Company (completed);
TC 3: Project Implementation and Procurement Support (€500,000): International consultants to assist the project implementation unit during the estimated three year implementation period. The TC is divided into a Phase I covering detailed design and a Phase II covering construction supervision support, tender evaluation, contract award and administration, financial control, project management, and reporting services. (To be funded by the ETC Fund or an international donor);
TC 4: Corporate Development Programme and Support to the Water Supply Regional Development Agency (€650,000): to
(i) assist the West Water Company and the East Water Company to consolidate the mergers, develop an operational restructuring plan and action plan, develop a business plan, develop an investment plan, carry out asset revaluation, implement a Financial and Operational Performance Improvement Programme (FOPIP), including management information systems, as well as ongoing corporate development and
(ii) support institution building in the Water Supply Regional development Agency by formulation of a detailed reform plan, development of PSC and/or management contracts, account consolidation support, a plan to address affordability concerns, and a medium term plan/policy for private sector participation.
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