Regional Broadband Infrastructure Development

Skopje Wastewater Treatment Plant

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Project Financing

EBRD Loan € 29,692,103
EIB ERI TA Grant External Grant € 500,000
EIB Loan € 34,811,432
WBIF Grant WB19-MKD-ENV-01 € 487,425
WBIF Grant WB-IG06-MKD-ENV-01 € 72,224,502
FASEP TA Grant External Grant € 927,182
Beneficiary Contribution Own Contribution € 500,000
Total € 139,142,644
Total Grants € 72,711,927
Total Loans € 64,503,535

Project Description

This investment project concerns the construction of a 650,000 p.e. wastewater treatment plant in Skopje, the capital of and the largest city in North Macedonia. The future WWTP will server a population of 518,000 and cover nine of the ten municipalities of the City of Skopje.

The implementation of the legal requirements and standards of the UWWT Directive (91/271/EEC) and the Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC) is a significant challenge for the country as far as investments are concerned. Only 15% of the country is serviced by WWTPs, which ensure mechanical and biological treatment. Larger cities still discharge untreated wastewater directly to water bodies, in this case, Vardar, the longest and the largest river in the country and transboundary watercourse.

The investment will be implemented and operated in two phases, with the phase first, secondary treatment including sludge disposal, energy consumption optimisation and air quality protection by 2030. Tertiary treatment with reduction of nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations in the effluent is foreseen at the second stage of the project, by 2045. The treated effluent will be discharged into the Vardar River, which is expected to be declared sensitive area.

The project is now at the tender preparation stage, with feasibility and environmental impact assessment studies and preliminary design completed in 2016/2017. The tender documentation for the design and construction of the WWTP is expected to be completed by September 2019. The WBIF provides technical assistance to build the capacity of the Beneficiary for the construction of the project.

In parallel with this investment measure, a project for the improvement of the wastewater collection system in the City of Skopje, co-financed by IPA funds, is underway. It covers the city district from where the wastewater will be gravitationally conveyed to the future WWTP. With the construction of main collectors on Vardar River, the wastewater will be transferred to the WWTP. A separate stormwater system in the City of Skopje is also planned.


The European Union Mobilises Additional Funding for Wastewater Treatment in Skopje

Results and Benefits

  • 140,363 m3/day wastewater treatment capacity;
  • 650,000 p.e. wastewater treated;
  • Sustainable wastewater treatment services and increased efficiency of wastewater collection for 518,000 people living in Skopje;
  • 120 jobs created during construction and 35 more for the operation of the new wastewater treatment plant;
  • Improved surface and groundwater quality in the area and downstream due to adequate treatment of wastewater and sludge;
  • Compliance with EU Water and Environment Directives and international best practices in the field.
  • Countries: North Macedonia
  • Code: PRJ-MKD-ENV-002
  • Sector: Environment
  • Lead IFI: EIB
  • Status: Implementation
  • Beneficiary: Public Utility Company Skopje
Project financing split

Partner Financial Organisations

Western Balkans Partners