ADB $100 Million Loan Upgrades Urban Services in Western PRC's Tianshui City

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is extending a $100 million loan to upgrade urban services and improve living conditions in Tianshui City in Gansu―one of the poorest and least developed provinces in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The ADB Board of Directors yesterday approved the loan for the Gansu Tianshui Urban Infrastructure Project, which will fund new roads and bridges, strengthen flood control facilities, and introduce a new environmentally friendly heating system using recycled wastewater. The project will deliver health and environmental benefits to around 670,000 residents in and around the city and create hundreds of jobs.

Tianshui lies along the ancient Silk Road trading route and has, like many cities in western PRC, lagged eastern and southern counterparts in terms of economic growth, investment, and poverty reduction. The PRC government is moving to redress that imbalance under its current five-year plan through to 2015.

Upgrading the existing district heating network to improve service quality and reduce harmful pollutants from coal-fired boilers and stoves is a key goal of the ADB project. A new transmission network will also be funded to carry recycled wastewater to a combined heat and power plant with the resultant hot water then piped back for heating needs.

“Reusing wastewater for district heating will improve air quality, reduce the need for municipal subsidies and improve affordability for the poor,” said Barry Reid, Senior Finance Specialist in ADB's East Asia Department.

A flood control embankment more than 10 km long will be built to combat seasonal overflows from the Xi and Wei rivers while the road improvements will help make the city’s transport system safer and more efficient. The project will also support government efforts to turn the Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Zone into a key area of sustainable growth and investment for the northwest of the country.

Along with ADB, the China Development Bank is extending over $68 million and the Tianshui Municipal Government over $61 million, for a total project cost of nearly $230 million. The Tianshui Municipal Government is the executing agency for the project which is due for completion in December 2016.