ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA (27 September 2018) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved $20 million in additional loan financing to expand the scope of an ongoing wastewater treatment project to an extra five fast-growing aimag (province) centers of Mongolia.
In 2010, ADB approved a $15 million grant for the Southeast Gobi Urban and Border Town Development Project, which enhanced water supply and sanitation services, road networks, as well as the efficiency and coverage of district heating services in mining and border towns of Omnogovi and Dornogovi provinces. This was complemented by a $19.43 million loan approved by ADB in 2016, which helped build wastewater treatment plants in four more aimag centers. A $1 million technical assistance was also provided by the Sanitation Financing Partnership Trust Fund under the Water Financing Partnership to support sludge reuse, which was piloted in one of the four aimag centers.
“As more municipalities and provinces in Mongolia urbanize and develop, there is an increasing need to manage larger quantities of wastewater,” said ADB Principal Urban Development Specialist for East Asia Mr. Antonio Ressano Garcia. “Providing better urban infrastructure and services to aimag centers will improve local environmental conditions and people’s quality of life, as well as help attract more businesses and encourage economic activity in second-tier cities across Mongolia.”
The latest support from ADB will help replicate the current achievements of the project to five more aimag centers—Baruun-Urt, Bulgan City, Chinggis City, Mandalgovi, and Murun—that all need better wastewater management services. These aimags are home to about 115,000 people or about 5.4% of Mongolia’s urban population. The proposed project will contribute to a more balanced national urban system and is fully aligned with ADB’s Strategy 2030 by making cities more livable.
The planned new wastewater treatment facilities with individual operating capacity of 3,000 cubic meters will replace existing treatment systems that are outdated, inefficient, in a state of repair, and not suitable for the extreme climate in Mongolia. They will include an energy-efficient treatment process that was first piloted in two aimag centers, Sukhbaatar and Zunmod. The additional financing will also provide vacuum evacuation trucks to all aimag centers to improve sanitation in ger areas as well as prevent ground and surface water pollution.
Along with ADB’s additional financing, the Government of Mongolia is contributing $1.75 million in funding. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.