In Pristina: Flora Kelmendi (+381) 38 246 459
In Washington: Steven Jouy (+1 202) 473 4215
WASHINGTON, June 28, 2007¾The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a US$5 million grant in additional financing for the Kosovo Energy Sector Clean-up and Land Reclamation Project. The project will support the Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK) and the Kosovar authorities in their efforts to clean up a gasification plant, enhance the country’s long-term power development and electricity supply, and mitigate an urgent risk to public health and the environment in Kosovo.
The project follows international good practice for the containment, removal, packaging, and export from site for incineration or reprocessing, of about 17,500 m3 of the following chemicals: concentrated phenol, mixtures of phenol and water, tars, oily compounds including waste oil, ammonia, benzene and methanol.
“The additional financing for the Energy Sector Clean-up and Land Reclamation Project complements the original grant for ash removal and overburden reclamation by containing and cleaning another troubled environmental legacy. The project is part of the World Bank’s strategy to help Kosovo develop the energy sector in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner,” said Ranjit Nayak, the World Bank’s Representative in Kosovo.
The World Bank has identified the energy and mining sectors as potential sources of economic growth for Kosovo, with lignite presenting enormous promise. However, Kosovo has a history of poor environmental practices in these sectors, which are a major concern for public health and the environment. Heavy metal contamination of soil and food is high, as is lead contamination. Air pollution, particularly from the dust generated by power stations and ash dumps, is a critical problem, and wastewaters from the mining and power operations are heavily polluted.
By the time the project is completed, it is expected that environmental officials will have gained the necessary skills to prepare plans for further clean-up activities at the gasification site, following the removal of the most hazardous substances.
Since 2000, the World Bank has approved 24 grants totaling US$110 million to Kosovo. The present grant is provided by the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA).
For more information on the World Bank’s work in Kosovo, please go to