The project made investments to improve the efficiency of nutrient removal at the wastewater treatment plants of the three largest Belarusian cities in the Baltic Sea catchment area, namely in Grodno, Vitebsk, and Molodechno. Moreover, technical plans were drawn up for more efficient phosphorus removal in the city of Lida.
The PRESTO Project (Project on Reduction of Eutrophication of the Sea Today) was implemented in 2011–2014. The PRESTO Project, which was financed by the EU’s Baltic Sea Programme, was led by the Union of the Baltic Cities, UBC. The Foundation’s role in the project was to be in charge of treatment plant investments and their technical planning.
In 2012, Pöyry Finland drew up the technical plans for implementing improved nutrient removal at the wastewater plants of Grodno, Vitebsk, and Molodechno. At the same time, investment agreements with the water utilities were signed. In 2013, the water utilities finalized local investment plans, and acquired construction and environmental permits for the plans. The Foundation supported the water utilities in local plan implementation, setting up bidding competitions for equipment procurement and construction, and drawing up agreements with suppliers. The equipment was delivered to the water utilities in 2013–2014; the construction work and equipment installation also took place in this period.
In addition to investments and technical plans, the project trained Belarusian wastewater treatment professionals in improving the efficiency of wastewater treatment. In addition to Belarusian planning organisations, personnel from e.g. the water utilities of Baranovichi, Polatsk, and Slonim took part in the training sessions.