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Finnish and Russian environmental operators network at a seminar

Experience and best practices of the St Petersburg wastewater treatment plant benefit future projects

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Experience and best practices of the St Petersburg wastewater treatment plant benefit future projects Press release 15 November 2005 The Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra), the water management group of the Finnish-Russian Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, and Vodokanal organised a seminar in St Petersburg on 15–16 November, gathering together participants of the South-West Wastewater Treatment Plant project and companies operating in the environmental field. The building project of the South-West Wastewater Treatment Plant in St Petersburg has been a unique example of efficient multilateral collaboration and public-private partnership. The building of the plant, after grinding to a halt in the 1980s, was on hold for years. The project was prepared at a political level, and eventually as a joint spearhead project of the EU and Russia funded through the Northern Dimension. The project received contributions from several international financers. The organisation of the project, its technical design, construction and the organisation of the operating of the plant were carried out in collaboration between a number of parties and countries. As an investment, the 194-million-euro project was of great significance. The implementation of the project was exceptional as it was carried out according to the Public-Private Partnership model. The result is a modern wastewater management plant, the implementation of which presents a commendable example to others planning environmental projects in Russia. “The experiences of the St Petersburg wastewater management plant were so positive that there is every reason to introduce similar technological solutions and implementation model in future environmental projects as well,” says Jukka Noponen, Executive Director of Sitra’s Environmental Programme. Organised by Vodokanal and Sitra, the seminar offered a forum for the owners, financers, designers, contractors and staff of the South-West Wastewater Treatment Plant as well as for environmental technology companies to meet. The aim of the seminar was to introduce the various operators’ experiences and thoughts about the project and to share them with companies that are planning new projects in Russia. The seminar also promoted networking between Finnish and Russian environmental technology companies and encouraged collaboration within the field. “The environmental and energy fields as well as infrastructure projects were defined in ‘Finland’s economic strategy for Russia’, published by Sitra, as a strategic business area for both countries. Joint projects can help expedite the structural changes in Russia in these fields, and present new business opportunities and achieve cost-effective high-technology solutions through public-private partnerships,” says Maaret Heiskari, Executive Director for Sitra’s Russia Programme. “During the Finnish Presidency of the EU in 2006, Russian issues will have a strong emphasis and the Northern Dimension projects in Russia will be promoted in the aforementioned fields, in particular,” Heiskari adds. The legislative changes that have recently been made in Russia require that municipal departments be incorporated. This will force the departments to streamline their operations to achieve better cost coverage. “The St Petersburg wastewater treatment plant has largely achieved this target, in collaboration with Finnish partners,” says Jaakko Henttonen, Consul and Chairman of the water management group of the Finnish-Russian Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, and adds, ”We need to make progress elsewhere in Russia, too. Finnish know-how, training and technology are a major factor in these projects – it is time to work together.” The seminar was part of Sitra’s Environmental Programme, promoting business activities and innovations in the field of environmental technology. Sitra’s Russia Programme, which was also involved in the seminar, focuses on co-operation with Russia. Further information Jukka Noponen, Executive Director, Sitra’s Environmental Programme, tel. 040 587 4323Maaret Heiskari, Executive Director, Sitra’s Russia Programme, tel. +358 50 431 1650Jaakko Henttonen, Consul, Chairman of the water management group of the Finnish-Russian Commission for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, tel. +7 812 904 8819 www.sitra.fi and www.vodokanal.spb.ru

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Construction

Buildings account for the largest share of energy use, and therefore have the greatest potential for improving energy efficiency.

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