The city of Petrozavodsk in north-western Russia and its water utility company PKS inaugurated an upgraded wastewater treatment plant on the shore of Lake Onega. The project has been co-financed with loans from NIB and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and grants from Nordic and international organisations.

The upgraded plant cleans some 145,000 cubic metres of sewage a day. Equipped with modern biochemical treatment technology, the plant fulfils the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) requirements for the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus from the effluent. Lake Onega is part of the Baltic Sea catchment area. The project also included improvements in sludge recycling and the supply of drinking water to the city.

“A modern wastewater treatment plant is of critical importance for Petrozavodsk, a city of 270,000 inhabitants, discharging its effluent into a very big lake connected to both the Baltic Sea and Arctic Ocean. Equipping major discharge points in the region with sewage treatment of sufficient capacity is a priority for the Bank’s member countries that have defined improving the environment as part of NIB’s mission”, says Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO.

“We are very content to see that all stages of the reconstruction have been successfully implemented at the wastewater treatment plant, and that the discharges of phosphorus will decrease dramatically”, says Kari Homanen, Executive Vice President at NEFCO.

NEFCO was the coordinating institution for the international financing package in the project that included loans from NIB and NEFCO, and grants from the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership, the Ministry of the Environment of Finland and Sweden’s international development cooperation agency Sida.