Attracting investors, a necessity for SIMD from Moldova

Sergiu MACHIDON, entrepreneur with 11 years of experience and investment consultant for over 5 years, represents a group of private investors from Switzerland, Luxembourg and Great Britain, interested in investing in Integrated Waste Treatment and Recovery Stations. Sergiu has carried out feasibility studies for waste treatment projects in over 16 countries, including the Republic of Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Great Britain, USA, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Thailand, Vietnam, An example project is one of the 4 treatment plants built in Barcelona, Spain, named Ecoparc 2, which has a processing capacity of 287,500 tons/year, occupies an area of 8 ha and has 105 employees.

The waste situation in the Republic of Moldova

In the Republic of Moldova we carried out a national analysis of municipal solid waste and in the municipality of Chisinau a complex feasibility study, according to European standards, in order to map the data and create an X-ray of the waste management system from production to storage.

In the country, approximately 1,000,000 tons/year of household solid waste (biodegradable + recyclable) are produced, data that do not include information about construction waste. In total, approximately 455,000 tons/year are produced in the municipality of Chisinau.

From the quantitative, morphological, technical, legal and administrative analysis carried out, it emerges that there is a major potential in the treatment, recycling and transformation of waste into energy. Referring to the demographic and economic map of the country, I believe that the most optimal way to solve the problem of waste is establishing an integrated system of ecological treatment stations, recycling and waste recovery:

  • 1 station with a processing capacity of 500,000 tons of waste/year for the municipality of Chisinau and the metropolitan area;
  • 5 stations with a processing capacity of 100,000 tons of waste/year each and to be located in strategic geo locations and to serve the surrounding areas where the 100,000 tons/year needed for each station are produced.

The investment in such a project is valued at 700,000,000 million euros, money that the Republic of Moldova has nowhere to get without attracting international private investors in order to create a public private partnership and develop an Integrated System of municipal solid waste treatment, recycling and valorization stations.

Although recently, the Republic of Moldova signed a loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the amount of 100,000,000 euros to improve solid waste management services in the country, as long as there is no updated Waste Management Strategy, it is also not possible to create a concrete Action Plan, which integrates all the projects at country level and not specific projects in each district, in order to achieve the national objectives regarding the collection, sorting, recycling, energy recovery, reducing the amount of stored waste and reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Considering the current situation presented and taking into account the Association Agreement signed between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union on waste management, the Paris Agreement "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" of 11/12/2015 and the loan agreement signed between the EIB and the Government of the Republic of Moldova, for the improvement of solid waste management services in the country, I consider absolutely necessary.

Update of Law 209/2016 regarding waste in accordance with the legislation of the European Union in the field of waste management by including the objectives and methods of ecological treatment, valorization, reduction of the amount of waste. Accordingly, European Directive 2008/98 / EC on waste (Waste Framework Directive, WFD) provides in article 4 that following the hierarchy of waste, priority is applied in the legislation and policy of waste prevention and management: (a) prevention; (b) preparation for reuse; (c) recycling; (d) other recovery, e.g. energy recovery; and (e) disposal. At the same time, the objectives of the European Union regarding waste until 2030 provide for the recycling of 651 TP3T from municipal waste until 2030; recycling 75% of packaging waste by 2030 and reducing landfill to a maximum of 10% of municipal waste by 2030. Technical projects for integrated systems, based on feasibility studies developed in over 16 countries around the world, are based on EU objectives (the highest goals in the world). A waste treatment plant comprises a complete integrated system: sorting, ecological treatment, gasification, electricity production, recycling, disposal. After processing all municipal solid waste, a maximum of 10% of municipal waste reaches the landfill, and it no longer pollutes.

Update of the Waste Management Strategy 2013-2017, since the concessions underlying it were not real and resulted from a thorough study carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and the Environment. Accordingly, a feasibility study is requested and the strategy based on real data regarding the morphology and quantities of waste produced in 2019 and 2020.

Based on the update of the Waste Management Strategy of the Republic of Moldova, based on the elaboration of the Action Plan of the updated strategy and based on the discussions with foreign investors, the Republic of Moldova can use the 100,000,000 Euros from the European Investment Bank for complementary measures to the implementation project of integrated waste treatment plants. Thus, concrete projects can be financed regarding the improvement of the waste collection and transport system, the information and education of the population regarding the sorting of waste at source, the reduction of pollution through optimized transport plans, the introduction of an air monitoring system, the improvement of the reporting and monitoring system of all waste produced, transported, recycled, disposed of and stored in the country and other measures. Thus, the sum of 100,000,000 Euros can be invested as efficiently as possible, with maximum operational and financial yield, producing a major positive impact on the environment.

As for the taxes that should be paid by the citizens and private companies of the Republic of Moldova after the implementation of such an integrated project at the national level, they will not suffer increases as long as there is a careful monitoring of the activity of producers, transporters, recyclers and landfills

In order to avoid tax increases, I strongly consider it necessary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment to monitor waste producers through the SIA MD system and to penalize organizations that do not correctly report data on the waste generated. And if we are still talking about the correct reporting of the amounts of waste generated, then it is very important to use the ton (weight) and not cubic meters (volume) as the unit of measure, as is currently practiced. Each organization must pay the tax per ton according to the amount of waste produced.

In the context of the mentioned, I must point out that the Republic of Moldova has 4 great advantages in the field, the use and strengthening of which would contribute directly to the achievement of the objectives in the field of efficient waste management at the national level and respectively the development of an Integrated Waste Management System :

  1. The absence of an integrated waste management system. Thus, a complex analysis of the current situation, a vision of the project and a planning of measures for the next 15-20 years can be carried out.
  2. The agreement with the European Union, which means that the state can benefit from support in technical and legislative know-how, financial support through grants and loans in order to develop and operate an Integrated Waste Management System.
  3. The existence of European and international investment funds that already have extensive experience in investing and operating integrated waste processing, recycling and energy recovery stations, and that wish to invest in the country taking into account the 3 international agreements signed by the Republic of Moldova and mentioned above up.
  4. The existence of mature technologies and integrated systems in EU countries that can currently guarantee the fulfillment of the EU's 2030 objectives.

Author: Sergiu MACHIDON, Director MHW Consultancy Services LTD, Independent waste management expert, AO Waste Recovery Association

The full article is published in no. 26 (2020) of the "Waste Management" Magazine. To complete a subscription to the Magazine, go to You will receive the electronic version (.pdf) of the magazine shortly after completing the data in the form and making the transfer.