The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will allocateEUR600,000 in a grant to the Komi Republic (North-West Russia) fordeveloping the project of upgrading the systems of water supply in thecities of Syktyvkar and Vorkuta, the Komiinform news agency reported. Anagreement between the EBRD and the government of the republic on theprogram of corporate development has been signed on September 12, 2002.According to the document, the grant will be allocated by the Canadiangovernment through the EBRD. On the part of Komi, Deputy Construction andEnergy Minister of the republic Vitaly Molodtsov signed the agreement. Asrepresentative of the EBRD Oksana Selska reported, Swedish specialists arecurrently preparing a technical and economic assessment of the project. TheSwedish government previously allotted EUR500,000 in a grant for thispurpose. The assessment is expected to be completed in the first quarter of2003. All this should be the basis for receiving EUR15m in an EBRD credit.It is suggested that EUR10m will be allocated for Syktyvkar and EUR5m forthe reconstruction of the Vorkuta water supply system.In the first four years, the interest rate will amount to 6-8 percent.After the facilities are constructed, the bank will grant the republic theright to extend the repayment date to 15 years. According to Selska, thespending of the allocated resources will be strictly controlled. Allsettlements will be cashless. The EBRD is the administrator of the allottedgrants, as all banking operations on this project are executed through itsbank network, the banker pointed out..