According to bank provided information, EBRD intends to support the Gabes Wastewater Treatment Plant Project under its PPP Preparation Window. Currently the sanitation system's coverage in the Grand Gabes region of Tunisia is approximately 90 per cent. The sanitation system is connected to an Existing WWTP built in 1995 that does not meet the minimum technical, social and environmental requirements; and its capacity and efficiency has not kept pace with the expansion of the governorate of Gabes.
In order to improve the quality of sanitation services for the inhabitants and protect the environment of the region, a new wastewater treatment and reuse system is proposed in line with Sanitation Master Plan of Gabes published by National Sanitation Office (ONAS) in 2017. The Master Plan includes a strategic objective of 100% reuse of treated wastewater for agriculture and/ or industry which is consistent with Tunisia's National Water Resources Strategy for 2030. The Project proposed by plan is to rehabilitate, reconfigure and extend the existing wastewater collection and transfer network and develop two new WWTPs in the north and south of the Wadi Gabes bypass channel i.e. the North Gabes WWTP and South Gabes WWTP, as a PPP. (Project)
The ONAS, which was setup in 1974, is a financially independent public body overseen by the Ministry of Environment. It is responsible for collecting and treating wastewater by developing and operating sanitation infrastructure. Since 1997, ONAS started developing and operating the sanitation infrastructure with the involvement of private sector by outsourcing services for three to five years under public procurement regulations. With the implementation of acts relating to the PPP contract, there is a further impetus to leverage private sector expertise and resources for developing infrastructure projects under the PPP model including this Project.
The Project aims to improve sanitation services in the Gabes region as well as overcome water availability and quality issues in the city of Gabes and its surrounding areas. It is also expected to encourage reutilisation of treated wastewater from the Project for agriculture and industrial purposes.
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