Serbia received two ground decontamination devices from the US company Freytech at the end of a visit by a political and business delegation from the state of Maryland whose members also expressed interest in investments through private-public partnerships.
One of the two decontamination devices was handed to the Serbian Envinronmental Protection agency and its director Filip Radović, while the other is planned to go to one of the country’s institutes involved in ground quality testing. Freytech spokesman David Roberts said the devices can clear all kinds of pollutants, including arsenic, and are being used in more than 20 countries at present.
The Maryland delegation included representatives of 10 companies involved in environmental protection technologies who visited the Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš and met with Environmental Protection Minister Goran Trivan, Energy and Mining Minister Aleksandar Antić and officials of all levels of government for talks on possible cooperation.
Delegation chief Maryland Secretary of State John Wobensmith said his state and Serbia face some similar problems and want to exchange experiences, such as his home state’s experience in educating children about environmental protection.
Trivan told Serbian media during the visit that Serbia needs to invest up to EUR 15 billion in environmental protection over the next few years, adding that the US companies the Serbian government contacted have expressed interest in working with their Serbian counterparts on envinronmental projects including waste management, water purification, communal waste processing and land decontamination.
“Ecology is a not a question of politics but of better living conditions. We lack technology and money for investments which is why we need help from states that can invest, like Maryland,” Trivan said. The visit by the Maryland delegation is the start of tackling priorities but without projects there can be no money, the minister said. The Delegation saw presentations of several projects during the visit, including the Belgrade Waterfront, plans for a regional landfill in Vojvodina and a waste water processing plant outside the city of Niš.
Maryland companies interested in investing
The delegation members said their companies are interested in investments in environmental protection, the energy industry and mining in partnership with both companies and all levels of government. Their main interest is in waste management and processing through public-private partnerships.
Metropolitan Solutions spokesman Howard Unger said his envinronmental consulting and engineering company sees investment opportunities in Serbia, mainly in waste management and processing plants, in upgrading air quality and waste water treatment.
Environmental Conscious Technology, which is involved in water purification following oil spillage, is interested in partnerships in the energy and agriculture industries and in health care, spokesman Howard Talbott said adding that his company has solutions to lower negative effects in the fuel and mining industries without cutting into profits and is planning to work with the Serbian Oil Industry (NIS).
The Regreen Organics company sees a lot of opportunities in Serbia for its technology which processes solid and organic waste into fertilizer and cattle feed because it has recognized problems in Serbia similar to the ones it faces in the US, spokesman Jeffry Camera said at the end of the visit and expressed interest in investments through public-private partnerships. Serbia needs to find solutions different to practice to date in order to make use of waste as a resource instead of leaving it in landfills, he said.