PODGORICA, 16 December 2016 – The European Union, through the Western Balkans Investment Framework, and in partnership with KfW, provided €1.1 million for consultancy services that will support the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant in Podgorica. “This important investment project will produce real and direct improvements in the quality of life for the citizens of Podgorica and its surrounding areas”, said the EU Ambassador to Montenegro Aivo Orav at the grant agreement signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.
The grant agreement was signed by the Director for Communal services at the KfW's Southeast Europe and Turkey Department, Kirk Mildner, Montenegro's Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Pavle Radulovic, and the General Manager of the Utility Podgorica, Vladan Vucelic.
New plant in Podgorica will address the problem of discharge of untreated water into the Morača River as well as soil and groundwater pollution due to filtrations from septic tanks of individual households. “These actions will also help improve the health conditions for many citizens of Podgorica”, said Ambassador Orav.
He emphasised the importance that the EU attaches to environmental protection and climate action, in particular through efficient management of waste water and solid waste, which is illustrated by the fact that in the period from 2007 to 2014, the EU has allocated €35 million euros to this sector in Montenegro.
“Strategic plans have been elaborated for waste management at state and local level. Sewage systems have been replaced or constructed, wastewater treatment plants have been built or planned, waste containers and refuse collection vehicles have been provided to Montenegrin municipalities”, said Orav.
He added that, being aware of the costliness of infrastructure projects in the environment sector, the EU has set up the Western Balkans Investment Framework to allow for sharing of the high investment costs and better coordination of financing between the European Commission, international financial institutions and EU Member States.
“Today we can witness how pooling of available funds, investment resources, and expertise of the European Commission and its partners supports the preparation of a very concrete project that will ultimately treat about 20% of the waste water generated by Montenegro”, said Orav.
Prior to signing the grant agreement, Minister Radulovic stressed that this was a historical moment for Montenegrin environment.
General Manager of the Utility Podgorica, Vladan Vucelic added that the implementation of this project is a precondition for further sustainable development of the capital city, and further on, an important factor for both the quality of environmental protection of Skadar Lake and water supply of Montenegrin coastal area.