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WB Assists Ningbo to Improve Water Services

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved on March 17 a loan of US$130.0 million to China to help finance the Ningbo Water and Environment Management Project, with the objective to facilitate the expansion of water and wastewater services in Ningbo City and Cixi City in an economically efficient and environmentally sustainable manner, and thereby protect public health, improve the environment, and sustain the area’s rapid economic growth.


Ningbo is located approximately 150 kms south of Shanghai on the edge of Hangzhou Bay. Ningbo is the primary deep-water port for the Yangzte Delta region, and has a thriving industrial sector focused on the export of manufactured goods.  As one of the coastal areas in China, Ningbo has been growing at a rapid pace in the last two decades. The Ningbo government’s policy is to foster private sector investment, promote education and science, and provide high-quality infrastructure for the region. Investments in water and wastewater infrastructureneed to keep pace with the rapid economic development. Both Ningbo City and Cixi City are located in Ningbo.


Ningbo City, with a population of 2.5 million residents, is facing a two-dimensional water crisis: frequent shortages and poor water quality. Water companies draw water from local surface water sources and use outdated treatment technology, rendering the piped water of questionable quality. The Municipal Government has started implementation of an ambitious program to develop high quality water supplies, transfer the water to Ningbo City, and upgrade water treatment and distribution infrastructure. Cixi City, located north of Ningbo City on the shore of Hangzhou Bay has a population of around one million people and a dynamic economy.  Currently, only 10% of the wastewater in Cixi is treated, and the project will help expand coverage throughout Cixi.


“The leaders and citizens and Ningbo City have been eagerly awaiting this project which will help provide reliable and high quality water supplies,” said Greg Browder, World Bank Task Manager for the Project.  “One of the most innovative features of the project is the construction of a water supply ring main around the City which will be the first of its kind in China. The investments in wastewater infrastructure in Cixi will help protect Hangzhou Bay and sustain the rapid economic growth in Cixi.”


The Ningbo Water and Environment Project has the three components:


Component 1: Ningbo Water Supply: The component includes: i) raw water supply line consisting of an intake tower in Jiaokou reservoir and a 9.6 km tunnel; ii) 500,000 m3/day Maojiaping water treatment plant; and iii) treated water transmission pipes, including a new 47 km ring main around Ningbo City and 29 kms of transmission pipes from Maojiaping water treatment plant to the new ring main. The component is a significant part of Ningbo’s overall plan to service the entire City, improve water quality by accessing new water sources and upgrade water treatment, and enhance distribution system reliability and flexibility.


Component 2: Cixi Wastewater: The component includes: i) two wastewater treatment plants; and ii) associated collection system mains and link sewers. The component will provide comprehensive wastewater services for all urban areas in Cixi City, and help protect Hangzhou Bay. 


Component 3: Institutional Development: Technical assistance will be provided to improve water planning, utility price and service regulation, and to enhance the operational and business management capacities of the Ningbo Water Supply Company and Cixi Municipal Sewage Company. Design review and construction management technical assistance will also be provided to ensure smooth implementation of the infrastructure works.


The loan for the Ningbo Water and Environment Project has a maturity of 20 years, including a five-year grace period.


(China.org.cn March 18, 2005)


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