27 Apr '11
Oleg Kouzbit, Online News Managing Editor
An international consortium led by Moscow’s Evraziysky is ponying up $140m to address decades-old water contamination problems in Russia’s South-West. By 2013 the tourist-sensitive regions of Rostov and Krasnodar may expect tangible environmental improvements as the area prepares for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. With lots of R&D anticipated from the French and Russian consortium members, the project is one of the very few currently under way there aiming to improve the environment, not damage it.
Moscow-based investment fund Evraziysky has unveiled plans to build a $140m sludge incineration and sewage decontamination facility in the southern Russian cities of Rostov-on-Don and Sochi (Rostov and Krasnodar regions). The Rostov and Krasnodar regions have also committed to support the project, but have not specified funding details.
An environment-focused PPP
Set up in 1994 as a PE fund, Evraziysky has diversified to become one of Russia’s few investment companies doing sizable water supply projects outside Moscow. Their goal is to turn around outdated regional public utilities systems and make them profitable through re-equipping and transfer of new technologies.
At its subsidiaries across European Russia the company reportedly employs about 8,500 people and is said to have a $1.4+bn, 15-year investment portfolio in a variety of infrastructure projects. Russia’s largest government-owned financial institution, VEB Bank, holds a major 20% stake in Evraziysky.
Plugging in Russo-French R&D
The main focus of Evraziysky’s two-year program is construction of sludge incineration plants in the two cities. Each facility’s projected capacity is believed to be about 100,000 cubic-meters a year. For this part of the project the investor will reportedly contract France’s Degremont, one of Europe’s leaders in water treatment with more than 10,000 facilities worldwide and $20+m in R&D spending each year.
In a separate joint effort with the Rostov region Evraziysky is expected to also fund the installation of an ultraviolet unit to decontaminate treated sewage at an aeration station in Rostov-on-Don. Moscow-based Lit, an R&D and production company manufacturing and selling ultraviolet decontamination equipment, will be reportedly brought on board to do the job.
As long as the Black Sea’s still breathing…
Evraziysky CEO Sergei Yashechkin emphasized in his statement for media that the new project would address the decades-old problem of daily sludge accumulation that pollutes the area. In addition to sludge recovery the project is expected to dramatically reduce contaminant emissions into the atmosphere.
The ongoing fouling of ground waters will also be reportedly lessened and the quality of water in the Black Sea offshore strip will improve considerably—a target that experts feel will win the hearts of many in these tourist-sensitive territories.
Evraziysky and the French contractor are bringing into the effort advanced technology of incineration product utilization, too. According to Mr. Yashechkin, ashes will be used to re-soil agricultural lands, added to solid waste landfills, and also be sold to cement-makers.
Analysts emphasize that unlike a raft of predecessors easily compromising the area’s unique ecosystem to the goal of rebuilding it for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics, the Evraziysky-led private-public partnership (PPP) is pioneering what experts hope will be an increasing number of eco-friendly modernization projects in Russia’s South-West.