Romanian environment and water: opportunities for 2009-2013

The Romanian environment and water sectors are currently undergoing reform. The Government, through the
Ministry of Environment, is promoting a sustainable policy on investments, in order to meet environmental goals and comply with EU standards within the required timescales. By becoming a Member State of the European Union, Romania has access to structural and cohesion funds, fi nancial instruments meant to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities between EU Member States. Romania aims at developing and extending the environmental infrastructure, thus benefi ting from the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund.

The Sectorial Operational Programme - Environment is the document that establishes the allocation strategy of the European Funds for the environmental sector in Romania, for the 2007-2013 period. The total budget is around 5.6 billion Euro, out of which 4.5 billion Euro are EU non- refundable funds and over 1 billion represents the national contribution.

The programme was elaborated by the Ministry of Environment (former Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development) as Managing Authority for SOP Env. The programme covers the 2007-2013 programming period, but its objectives follow Romania's development needs beyond 2013, by carrying out investments that lay the basis of sustainable development in environmental infrastructure.

In view of accomplishing the SOP Env objectives six fi nancing priorities have been identifi ed. The most important for the sector are: Priority Axis 1 "Extension and modernisation of water and wastewater systems" (total budget 3.27bn Euro) and Priority Axis 2 "Development of integrated waste management systems and rehabilitation of historically contaminated sites (total budget 1.17bn Euro).

The main business opportunities in water and environment arising from these priority axes are: rehabilitation of water supply and wastewater networks, as well as of treatment facilities; extension of water and wastewater systems and upgrading of treatment facilities; municipal waste disposal facilities & transfer stations; sorting, recycling and composting facilities; selective collection systems; contaminated land rehabilitation (public and private industrial); rehabilitation of public heating plants; rehabilitation of district heating networks; reduction of industrial air pollution and greenhouse gases, improvements in local air quality and climate change mitigation; industry compliance with relevant EU Directives (such as IPPC, LCP, Waste, VOC) including measures to deal with historic waste.

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