The City of Belgrade will “do its part” within legal deadlines to enable launching construction by the spring of 2019 under a EUR 333 million public-private partnership (PPP) project to remediate the Vinča landfill – Serbia’s biggest environmental problem – and build modern waste management facilities, City Manager Goran Vesić said.
Vesić was speaking while touring the Vinča landfill together with French Ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni and Japanese Ambassador in Belgrade Junichi Maruyama on May 28, the city said in a statement on its website, recalling that the private partner in the largest-ever PPP in Serbia is a joint venture of France’s Suez Groupe and I-Environment Investments, a subsidiary of Japan’s Itochu.
The 25-year PPP project, signed in late September 2017, will allow for closing and remediating one of the largest landfills still active in Europe and generating over 80 MW of renewable heat and electricity with a 340,000 tons p.a. waste-to-energy plant.
To enable the launch of construction works by the spring of 2019, the city will complete the drafting of changes to the relevant zoning plan by October, which will then be adopted by the city assembly, in what will enable issuing a building permit for the project by the end of 2018, said Vesić.
The PPP project was awarded in a transparent process backed by the World Bank, he recalled, also noting that the city will draw no loans to finance the investment.
The tender to award the PPP project was organized by the City of Belgrade with the support of International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
Vladimir Milovanović, managing director of Beo Clean Energy, who toured the site together with the officials, said that individuals currently working on waste separation at the landfill will be provided with other jobs once remediation begins.
“This will eventually be a green surface, without unpleasant odors. Waste will be deposited in a more appropriate manner, and the landfill as we know it will disappear by 2021,” Milovanović said.
According to the Serbian Business Registers Agency (APR), Beo Clean Energy, registered as Beo Čista Energija, is a 50%-50% joint venture between the UK-based I-Environment Investments and Suez Groupe.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering the provision of debt financing in an amount of up to EUR 90 million to Beo Čista Energija, a limited liability company established with the sole purpose of operating and financing the Belgrade Solid Waste PPP project under a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Transfer (DBFOT) scheme, and owned by consortium of Suez and Itochu, according to the EBRD’s website. The target board date is September 19.
The project is envisaged to be financed by equity and non-recourse debt with international finance institutions: the EBRD, IFC and the European Investment Bank (EIB), according to the EBRD’s website.