The long-awaited wastewater treatment plant in Kaliningrad started operations on 18 December 2015 at about half of its capacity. By April 2016, the plant has reached almost full capacity processing biologically over 100,000 cubic meters of wastewater per day. The construction of the plant’s sand-filter and UV disinfection units will be finalized during the nearest weeks, and the handling and disposal of wastewater sludge will be solved during the next few months.
“The wastewater treatment plant in Kaliningrad is a proof of solid partnership amongst several NDEP partners, including Russian ministries of finance and foreign affairs along with a dedicated commitment by SIDA as well as EBRD and NIB. We can finally be satisfied for seeing the WWTP in operation and may with confidence expect the last remaining works to be completed by the present competent contractor shortly. The positive impact to a cleaner Baltic Sea will soon be noticed and to guarantee these results the international parties will carry on monitoring the WWTP performance in order to meet the set targets in full in close future.”, commented NDEP Adviser Jaakko Henttonen.
The construction works in Kaliningrad were at a halt for a long time due to problems with the general contractor. In May 2015, Kaliningrad authorities cancelled the contract with the original contractor and hired a local company SK Chistograd to finish the works.
The ecological situation in the Kaliningrad region and the Baltic Sea is expected to improve considerably after the launch of the Kaliningrad wastewater treatment plant. Until now, up to 150.000 cubic meters of wastewater were flowing everyday directly to the Baltic Sea without any treatment. Because of wastewater discharges, Kaliningrad has been included in the list of Municipal Hot Spots by HELCOM. Russian experts expect the water quality to exceed HELCOM’s requirements already during this year.