ADB is helping the People's Republic of China improve urban infrastructure and rehabilitate the environment in five border counties of Altay Prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The project will provide essential road, water supply, wastewater and solid waste management, and centralized heating infrastructure to one of the country’s poorest and most remote regions in the northwest.
|Project Name||Xinjiang Altay Urban Infrastructure and Environment Improvement Project|
|Country||China, People's Republic of|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Loan
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change|
|Sector / Subsector||
Energy - Energy utility services
Transport - Urban roads and traffic management
Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Other urban services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development - Urban sewerage - Urban solid waste management - Urban water supply
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The project will improve urban infrastructure facilities and the environment in five border counties (Buerjin, Fuhai, Habahe, Jimunai, and Qinghe) of Altay Prefecture (Altay) in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which will help upgrade urban living conditions and rehabilitate the environment. Improving urban infrastructure will contribute to long-term poverty reduction and improve the quality of life, particularly the health status of about 100,000 urban residents, in five project counties.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The development of XUAR is a top priority for the PRC. XUAR is one of the poorest and most remote regions in the northwest with a large ethnic minority population of 46% Uygur and 15% other minority ethnic groups. Around 97% of the population lives in an oasis belt covering only 8% of the region's total land area. Water availability is a critical concern to the fragile ecology of XUAR, which is predominantly a desert territory characterized by strong winds, low rainfall, and a high evaporation rate. Recognizing the need for greater national support, the Government of the PRC inaugurated a counterpart or twinning scheme whereby assistance from other provinces and/or municipalities will be used to strengthen capacity in XUAR and improve local living standards. In May 2010, the government outlined a number of policies and measures to aid XUAR's development. Nineteen nominated provinces and/or municipalities will provide financial contributions from 2011 to 2020 to achieve noticeable impacts. Under this scheme, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces in the northeast PRC will jointly support project counties in Altay.
Altay is the northernmost area in XUAR. It comprises one city (Altay City) and six counties (Buerjin, Fuhai, Fuyun, Habahe, Jimunai, and Qinghe); and shares a border totaling 1,175 kilometers (km) with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and the Russian Federation. Altay's total population of 658,000 comprises 51.4% Kazakh, 41.6% Han, and 7% other ethnic groups. While 44% of the population is urban, about 16% of the urban population lives below the official poverty line, with Jimunai and Qinghe designated as national poverty counties. The XUAR and Altay Prefecture governments have accorded high priority to infrastructure improvement, which will also benefit neighboring countries through the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supports the promotion of regional trade through this program and is working with other development partners to advance cross-border cooperation. Along with other areas in XUAR, Altay City and Kanas Scenic Zone in Buerjin are involved in two ongoing ADB-loan-funded urban projects in the region.
Altay suffers from a very harsh climate, with subzero temperatures between October and March, and annual precipitation of about 180 millimeters but high evaporation of about 2,000 millimeters. It has scenic mountains, lakes, rivers, desert, and meadows, making tourism one of its pillar industries. Currently, its top-ranked tourist destination is the Kanas Scenic Zone, followed by other developing tourist destinations such as the White Birch Scenic Area in Habahe, and Qinghe. Altay has four land ports with access to Kazakhstan and Mongolia. While tourism and cross-border trade have the potential to contribute to economic growth and job creation, particularly for the ethnic population residing in these border towns, it also relies on good accommodation, excellent delivery of municipal services, safe and available transport, and a pristine environment.
Across Altay, infrastructure facilities are inadequate to meet existing demand and hinder the expansion of local economies. Road surfaces are severely damaged by winter freezing and traffic, and the road network is incomplete. Utilities are either nonexistent or are old, fragile, and mostly insufficient, resulting in frequent service failures and environmental pollution. Water supply capacity is restricted by inadequate infrastructure and water quality is compromised by high seasonal turbidity. Most of the county areas lack sewers, and wastewater treatment capacity is marginal. Refuse collection and disposal are poorly managed, and most landfills resemble unregulated dumping grounds. Decentralized heating plants have low-efficiency, coal-fired boilers while hot water distribution has limited coverage, thus creating serious pollution problems in urban areas. All of these threaten human health, pollute the environment, and constrain necessary improvements in living standards. Therefore, comprehensive urban infrastructure improvements are needed urgently.
In view of the experiences and lessons obtained from the previous urban projects in the PRC, the project design features multisector integrated approaches. The project will thus provide essential road, water supply, wastewater and solid waste management, and centralized heating infrastructure to five county seat towns in Altay and the Takeshiken Land Port. The holistic approach to better infrastructure will (i) improve living conditions and the urban environment, (ii) support tourism to enhance inclusive growth, and (iii) help raise the efficiency at land ports. This will assist Altay's growing cross-border trade and tourism, create favorable conditions for trade-related investment and employment, and expedite the development of the processing and service industries, all critical for poverty alleviation.
Low-impact urban development with low carbon footprint. The project will support the government's strategy in the 12th Five-Year Plan to build environment-friendly and resource-efficient towns. A parallel technical assistance initiated by ADB - the Resource-Efficient Towns Development in the Xinjiang Altay Area - has highlighted initiatives to limit impacts of urban activity on the environment. This technical assistance developed a plan to promote reduction, reuse, and recycling (3Rs) approaches to municipal service delivery and the application of renewable energy use, which have been incorporated in the project design and implementation. In particular, the promotion of the 3Rs will recommend service delivery improvements such as solid waste recycling, water demand management, wastewater effluents and sludge reuse, and the introduction of renewable energy. It also provides for a public information and training campaign to build awareness and ensure the effective application of the 3Rs principle. Wastewater treatment schemes will also provide effluents and sludge suitable for irrigation and fertilization of windbreak forest in arid lands, thus avoiding the need to abstract raw river water or discharge polluting effluents to the rivers, which addresses water scarcity by saving the raw water and also conforms to ADB's Water Policy. Well-managed potable water supply, wastewater reuse, solid waste recycling, and reduced pollution through improvements in the centralized heating system are vital in keeping the environment and economy sustainable.
Enhanced long-term operational efficiency and sustainability. The project is consistent with ADB's strategic priorities in support of urban infrastructure development. Based on the lessons learned on the importance of securing operation sustainability, the project will provide an institutional capacity building program for implementing agencies and for future operation and maintenance units. Owing to the small scale and remote location, an individual component may not have either the skilled personnel or the capacity to engage them full-time. Therefore, the project will set up regional technical support groups for municipal engineering management. Under the scheme, the project counties will develop and share their technical capacities.
|Impact||Better living standards and conditions in the project counties|
|Description of Outcome||Integrated and more efficient municipal services in the project counties of Altay|
|Progress Toward Outcome||Project implementation ongoing. Construction in progress for over 60 contracts. Project implementation consultant recruited.|
|Description of Project Outputs||
1. Road components in Buerjin, Fuhai, Habahe, and Jimunai counties operational
2. Water supply components in Buerjin, Habahe, Jimunai, and Qinghe counties operational
3. Wastewater components in Buerjin, Fuhai, Habahe, Jimunai, and Qinghe counties operational
4. Solid waste components in Buerjin, Fuhai, Habahe, Jimunai, and Qinghe counties operational
5. Heating supply components in Fuhai, Habahe, Jimunai, and Qinghe counties operational
6. New construction of infrastructure in White Birch Forest Scenic Area in place
7. For all outputs
Capacity to deliver municipal services enhanced
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
The Project has achieved an overall implementation progress of 90%, as compared with 80% of the project time elapsed.
As of 21 March 2017, cumulative contract awards are $91.5million (91.5% of the total loan amount), and cumulative loan disbursement is $70.64 million (70.64% of the total loan amount).
Implementation progress of Buerjin Component: As of end July 2016, the overall progress is 87%. These subprojects have progressed well and generally on schedule except the wastewater subproject which was delayed due to the modification to the design. The solid waste treatment subproject has been completed and put into operation in April 2016. The road and water supply subprojects have completed the construction in October 2015 and August 2016 respectively.
Implementation progress of Fuhai Component: As of end July 2016, the overall progress is 83%. The road subproject has progressed well and all the urban area roads and most of the roads in the railway station area have been completed and the rest are expected to be completed by September 2016. The wastewater subproject is expected to be completed by end 2016. The solid waste subproject has been completed and put into operation. The heating subproject has completed the primary pipeline component, utilizing the counterpart funds, while the contract for secondary pipelines is being rebidded.
Implementation progress of Habahe Component: All subprojects are progressed well: the road subproject is expected to be completed by end September 2016, the water supply pipeline has been completed; the wastewater subproject has completed the main structures and started trial operation in July 2016; the heating subproject has been completed; the solid waste subproject was completed and has been transferred to the sanitation company for operation in November 2015.
Implementation progress of Jimunai Component: As of end July 2016, the overall progress is 67%. The water supply subproject and solid waste subproject have been completed. The wastewater subproject is expected to be completed by October 2016. The BER for four contracts for above heating and road subprojects has been approved by ADB by end 2016.
Implementation progress of Qinghe Component: Thanks to the effort of the IA and the PMO, Qinghe Component has made significant progress. As of end July 2016, the overall progress is 94%. The heating subproject has been completed and started trial operation in October 2015. The water supply subproject has been completed. The wastewater subproject has completed the main structures of the plant and pipelines, and equipment is being installed. The solid waste subproject has been completed and put into operation. The Takeshiken water supply subproject has completed the construction of the main structures and pipeline installation. The Takeshiken wastewater has completed the construction of the main structures and pipeline installation. The Takeshiken road subproject has been completed.
Capacity Building Component. The mission noted four domestic training has been conducted including training on operating solid waste facilities and a site visit to urban facilities in northeastern region in 2014, a training on O&M of wastewater plant and a field study among 5 project counties in 2016.
Three minor changes of scope were conducted during 2014 and 2015, including the scope change approved in April 2014 which canceled the components related to originally planned Economic Development Zone construction in Buerjin County and White Birch Forest Scenic Area Subcomponent in Habahe County, the scope change approved in August 2015 due to modification to the design of wastewater treatment plants, and the one approved in September 2015 which related to road upgrading component and the heating supply subproject in Jimunai County.
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
|Environmental Aspects||The project is classified as category A in ADB's environmental categorization. The project environmental impact assessment (EIA) was posted on the ADB website on 9 November 2010 and circulated to ADB's Board of Directors on 12 November 2010. The EIA complies with ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009). Extensive public consultation involving surveys, meetings with stakeholders, and focus group discussions was undertaken during the preparation of the EIA. The EIA concludes that the project has substantial environmental and socioeconomic benefits resulting from integrated improvements in urban transportation, water supply, sewage collection and treatment, urban solid waste treatment and management, and district heating facilities. The specific environmental concerns of the project during construction include soil erosion, dust generation, and closure and decommissioning of replaced facilities. During operation, concerns include secondary pollution from the wastewater treatment plant sludge, wastewater and landfill leachate, as well as cumulative impacts on downstream water users. Such concerns have been fully dealt with in the environmental management plan and the environmental monitoring plan. Comprehensive river basin analyses and water balances have confirmed that the impact on the region's sensitive surface water resources will be positive regarding water quality and acceptable regarding water quantities. The reuse of treated wastewater to irrigate windbreak forests will help combat land degradation and desertification. Savings in carbon dioxide emissions will accrue from the rationalization of urban road transport and road connectivity, the replacement of aging heating facilities, and the carbon sequestration provided by irrigated forest plantations. The Altay PMO will be responsible for setting up the environmental management system, consisting of inspection, monitoring, reporting, and initiating corrective actions or measures. Environmental monitoring and reporting will continue during operation, at the minimum on an annual basis. Each implementing agency will nominate dedicated, trained, and qualified environment specialists who will be responsible for implementing the environmental management plan. A detailed training program for capacity building and a project-wide grievance redress mechanism have been developed and included in the project EIA.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||The project is classified as category A for the involuntary resettlement safeguard. The project will acquire about 51.47 hectares (ha) of collective land, of which 40.77 ha (79%) is classified as grassland. It will also acquire 68.7 ha of state-owned land. A total of 16,144 square meters of residential houses and 2,773 square meters of shops and enterprises will be demolished. Overall, permanent land acquisition and house demolition will affect 205 households and 657 persons in the project counties. Among these, 353 will be ethnic minority people, accounting for 54%. To attenuate land acquisition and resettlement impacts, resettlement plans have been developed for each county. County governments have endorsed the resettlement plans, and have disclosed them in the community and village offices and to affected persons in both the Chinese and Kazakh languages on 14 and 17 February 2011. Resettlement plans have also been posted on the ADB website. Compensation for lost assets and resettlement allowance will be paid to the affected persons before construction activities begin, and the livelihood rehabilitation arrangements made in accordance with the resettlement plans. Each county PMO and PIU will have at least two full-time resettlement staff, and each PIU will carry out internal supervision and monitoring to ensure compliance with resettlement plan provisions. An independent agency will be engaged to conduct the semiannual external monitoring and evaluation. The total cost estimate for land acquisition and resettlement is CNY56.9 million or $8.4 million in 2010 prices, including contingencies. ADB staff and external monitoring institution will supervise and monitor implementation of the resettlement plans to minimize grievances of the affected persons.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The project is classified as category B for the indigenous peoples safeguard. Ethnic minorities are the majority population in the project area. All households in urban areas will benefit from the new infrastructure. Not all ethnic minority people speak Chinese. A project ethnic minority development plan has been prepared that focuses on measures to aid the inclusion of ethnic minority men and women in all project activities and to protect them from any disadvantages that language barriers may create with respect to employment by project contractors. It also includes measures to ensure that their customs and beliefs will be respected throughout implementation. Ethnic minorities will not be adversely affected, except in the context of resettlement. Livelihood restoration measures associated with resettlement are incorporated in the resettlement plans. The project ethnic minority development plan endorsed by the government has been disclosed on 11 February 2011 in both the Chinese and Kazakh languages to ethnic minority people targeted by the project. The ethnic minority development plan has also been uploaded on the ADB website. Detailed monitoring and reporting arrangements are included in the PAM and the project agreement.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||A stakeholder analysis and public consultation will be an integral part of the poverty, social, environmental, ethnic minority, and resettlement assessments. The main stakeholders include national, regional, and municipal governments; municipal engineering company, water bureau, water conservancy bureau; and project beneficiaries including utility service customers, residents, and neighborhoods.|
|During Project Implementation||Project information will be communicated through public consultation, information disclosure mechanism in ADB's and government's websites, meetings, interviews, focus group discussions, and community consultation meetings, in accordance with ADB's requirements of information disclosure policy.|
|Consulting Services||The project includes provision for funding 11 person-months of international and 100 person-months of national consulting services to support the APG, project IAs, operation and maintenance units, and the project maangement offices in project implementation, operational management and institutional capacity building, and in improving public awareness. The consulting package is to be provided through a consultancy firm which will be selected using quality- and cost-based selection in accordance with the Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2010, as amended from time to time).|
|Procurement||All procurement to be financed under the loan will be carried out in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2010, as amended from time to time). Contract packages for the components have been formulated in consultation with the government, and procurement capacity assessments of Altay Prefecture Government (APG), implementing agencies (IAs), and project implementation units (PIUs) have been undertaken. The general findings at each level (APG, IAs, and PIUs) and the recommendation to address any gaps/weakness have been identified in the procurement capacity assessments. Civil works contracts valued over $10 million and contracts for goods and related services above $1.0 million shall follow ADB procedures for international competitive bidding (ICB). Civil works contracts valued at $10 million or less and contracts for goods and related services at $1.0 million or less will be procured following national competitive bidding (NCB) procedures acceptable to ADB; packages for goods and related services valued at $100,000 and less and civil works valued at $200,000 and less will be procured through shopping procedures. The selection and engagement of contractors and suppliers will be subject to ADB approval. Before the start of any procurement ADB and the government will review the public procurement laws of the central and autonomous region governments to ensure consistency with ADB's Procurement Guidelines. It is recommended that prior review be applied for all ICB contracts, the first NCB contract for civil works, and the first NCB contract for goods for each IA, and post review for other procurement modes.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Wang, Fang|
|Responsible ADB Department||East Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||PRC Resident Mission|
Altay Prefecture Government
341 Jiefang South Road
Altay City, Altay Administrative Offices
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, PRC
|Concept Clearance||15 Jun 2010|
|Fact Finding||04 Nov 2010 to 19 Nov 2010|
|MRM||18 Feb 2011|
|Approval||23 Jun 2011|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|PDS Creation Date||13 Oct 2010|
|Last PDS Update||27 Mar 2017|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|23 Jun 2011||03 Aug 2011||18 Nov 2011||30 Jun 2018||-||-|
|Financing Plan||Loan Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||168.52||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||100.00||23 Jun 2011||91.95||0.00||92%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||23 Jun 2011||71.19||0.00||71%|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
None currently available.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Water Management: Water Metering, Sludge Management, and Nonrevenue Water - the PRC Experience||Brochures and Flyers||Dec 2014|
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