The project in Gatchina will reduce discharges of phosphorus by 25 tonnes per year. Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

NEFCO and the municipal unitary enterprise Gatchina Vodokanal have signed a loan agreement to further upgrade the wastewater treatment in the city. Gatchina is located about 40 kilometres south of St. Petersburg in Russia and has some 90,000 inhabitants.

Gatchina belongs to the Baltic Sea catchment area, which means that the city discharges wastewater into the Gulf of Finland, contributing to the pollution and eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.

The project aims to rehabilitate the plant’s biological treatment lines, upgrade the aeration and install a dosing station for chemical phosphorus removal. NEFCO will extend a loan of EUR 780,000 to finance the project, which is also supported financially by the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership, the Swedish Development Agency Sida, the John Nurminen Foundation, the municipality of Gatchina and Gatchina Vodokanal itself. The total investment cost of the project is EUR 2.5 million. NEFCO’s loan is secured by the municipal guarantee of Gatchina City.

“Thanks to this investment, the city will be able to reduce the discharges of phosphorus by over 25 tonnes and nitrogen by 42 tonnes per year, and this in turn means that the wastewater treatment plant will be able to meet the recommendations set by the Baltic Marine Environment Commission, HELCOM,” says Yuri Tsypkaikin, Director of Gatchina Vodokanal.

The project in Gatchina constitutes a continuation of a comprehensive investment programme involving five towns in the Leningrad Region initiated by the Nordic Investment Bank several years ago. Within the framework of this programme, Gatchina Vodokanal has previously upgraded its main water pumping station and the sludge pumping station, and supplied new blowers at an overall cost of EUR 5.2 million. The new project at hand led by NEFCO will finalise the measures agreed upon in accordance with HELCOM’s recommendations.

“We greatly appreciate Gatchina’s commitment towards implementation of these environmental investments. We are currently negotiating with other cities in the region in order to roll out similar projects. When initiated and implemented, these projects will have a considerable positive impact on the ecological state of the Baltic Sea,” says NEFCO’s Chief Investment Adviser Vitaly Artyushchenko.

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Read about another recent wastewater treatment project in Russia

Watch our video on upgraded wastewater treatment in Sosnovy Bor