It was announced that bids were open for the largest environmental project in North Macedonia — the construction of the Skopje wastewater plant. This important event — a key step in the implementation of the €136 million project — was hosted by Director of PE Water and Sewerage Skopje Zlatko Perinski and Mayor of Skopje Danela Arsovska. The meeting was also attended by the Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the Western Balkans Alessandro Bragonzi, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Senior Banker Biljana Milosheska and Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) Country Coordinator Orhideja Kaljosevska.

Head of the EIB Representation for the Western Balkans Alessandro Bragonzi expressed satisfaction with progress of this important project, which will support public health, cleaner rivers and better living conditions for about 500 000 people. “As the EU climate bank, our aim is to help the region adapt to and mitigate the negative consequences of climate change and increase resilience to crisis. Under the EIB Global branch, we will continue to work closely with the European Commission and our local partners to provide technical and financial support for strategic investments in the areas of sustainable transportation, green transition, energy and SME development,” he said.

The EIB is financing this flagship project with a €68 million loan, complemented with grants from the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) and the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), as part of the European Commission’s Economic and Investment Plan and the Green Agenda.

“With the construction of the wastewater plant, we as a country will have over 90% purified water, which is one of the criteria to be met when opening negotiations with the European Union. The project will increase Skopje's resistance to climate change by strengthening the city's wastewater treatment system,” added Director of PE Water and Sewerage Skopje Zlatko Perinski.

Mayor of Skopje Danela Arsovska stressed that the construction of this treatment plant is Skopje’s largest environmental and capital project, adding it will finally enable the treatment of urban wastewater in accordance with EU standards. “With the construction of this wastewater treatment plant, Skopje finally gets the opportunity to develop into an environmental metropolis that cares for the environment and people of Skopje,” she said.

The EIB has invested €128 million in water and wastewater infrastructure to date, helping to improve access to drinking water and sanitation services for people across North Macedonia.