International affairs dept now in charge of Paraopeba river cleanup

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Brazil's international affairs department (SAIN) has taken charge of the approval process for Minas Gerais state utility Copasa's (Bovespa: CSMG3) project to clean up the Paraopeba river basin, program coordinator Paulo Fernando Lopes told BNamericas.

"SAIN has been put in charge due to the nature of the program," Lopes said, adding that the project involves international financing.

German development bank KFW should be signing a 100mn-euro (US$139mn) financing deal with the utility by the end of May. The contract calls for Copasa to invest 20mn euros in counterpart funds.

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A tender to carry out the work is expected in H2, BNamericas reported previously.

The cleanup program has been divided into four parts. The first two involve building collector pipelines and wastewater treatment plants in cities along the banks of the Paraopeba basin, and construction of sludge treatment units at water treatment facilities in Betim and Juatuba.

The remaining two stages involve installing a biogas-to-energy system for the Betim wastewater treatment facility and another in Ibirité, as well as an integrated watershed protection system to promote environmental preservation and awareness in communities along the Paraopeba river.

The program is expected to improve the sewage collection and treatment rate in Minas Gerais' urban areas to 90% from 60% over the next four years.