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BEIJING, China -- The World Bank has approved a $100 million loan to China to help the environmental recovery of the Liao River Basin in the nation's northeast.
The bank intends the loan to help local authorities to reduce pollution in the river basin so that water from the area can be used for agricultural water supply or general amenity use by 2010.
Liaoning is a coastal province in the northeastern part of China, and is a key link between China's northeast economic zone and the Bohai Sea Rim economic zone.
The loan will also be used to establish municipal utilities capable of managing the treatment facilities, to upgrade basin-wide water quality management and offer technical assistance and training.
The estimated project cost of $203.6 million will be financed by the loan of $100 million, with local governments financing the remaining costs.
Improving the environment and in particular water quality in the major river basins is one of the major focal points of the World Bank's strategy in China.
The first stage of the project will be in two cities and across the regional papermaking companies.
A second stage of the project is expected to commence in about a year's time, focusing on Shenyang City, situated on the Hun River, a tributary of the Liao River.
The project will also reduce water pollution-related diseases as a result of improved sewer systems and will reduce surface and groundwater pollution near water intakes.