Norway. City of Bergen

Date of agreement:08 Jun 2016
Customer:City of Bergen
Amount in NOK:NOK 1,500 million
Amount in EUR:EUR 162.9 million
Maturity:20 years
NACE sector / loan type:Sewage and refuse disposal, sanitation and similar activities

Financing from NIB Environmental Bond proceeds

NEB-eligible share: 100%

NEB category: Water management and protection

Amount disbursed: EUR 107.5 million

Note: For loans in other currencies than EUR, the equivalent in EUR is based on the exchange rate effective for the disbursement. Read more about the NIB Environmental Bonds


The loan programme consists of two tranches, of which a NOK 1,000 million loan has been provided to finance an upgrade of the wastewater treatment system in Bergen, with an option to later agree on a NOK 500 million tranche to improve quality and distribution of the city’s drinking water.

The first tranche will finance three of Bergen’s four wastewater treatment facilities located in caverns at Holen, Kvernevik and Flesland. The first two became operational in 2015, and Flesland will be commissioned in 2016. The fourth one, which is not included in this loan programme, is the Ytre Sandviken wastewater treatment plant, which became operational in 2014.

The new plants will increase the treatment capacity to accommodate a growing population and to separate storm water from the sewage and thus decrease the risk of overflow during heavy rain. About 10,000 additional inhabitants will be connected to the municipal sewage system as part of the project.

The plants are designed to comply with new environmental requirements aligned with EU standards. The new plants will remove more than 75% of the organic load, measured by chemical oxygen demand (COD).

The first loan tranche will also help finance the city’s biogas facility at the Rådal waste incinerator facility. The biogas investment will improve the efficiency of the region’s wastewater treatment and provide local renewable fuel options for, for instance, public transportation. The predicted amount of biogas to be generated at full capacity is 22.8 GWh annually. That would be enough to fuel up to 80 public buses annually.

Bergen is Norway’s second largest city, with a population of around 278,000. The local economy is prosperous and fairly diversified. The main sectors are oil and gas, the maritime industry, fishing and seafood. Tourism has emerged as an industry in recent years, with about 500,000 visitors and 350 cruise ships annually.

Fulfilment of NIB's mandate

The investment in the city’s wastewater treatment system will increase the treatment capacity to accommodate the expected increase in nutrient load volumes until 2040. The increase is mainly due to population growth and connecting existing households to the municipal sewage network.

In addition, the investment in the biogas facility will provide local renewable fuel options for regional public transportation, for example.

A well-functioning sewage collection system and wastewater treatment form a necessary component of any sustainable society. The wastewater treatment plants in the Bergen area all situated underground, something that reduces the odour and eliminates the noise impact on the surroundings.

The sludge will be digested to produce biogas, which is a sustainable way of utilising the sludge.

Sustainability summary


Discharges of organic matter from the wastewater treatment plants are predicted to decrease by about 1,800 tonnes annually.

To eliminate the risk of odour from the ventilation to the environment, the air is treated with ultraviolet treatment as well as passing through an activated charcoal filter.

Up to 25,000 tonnes of sludge, with a dry content of at least 25%, is predicted to be generated once the full designed capacity of the wastewater treatment plants is being fully utilised. The sludge will be utilised to generate biogas. The City of Bergen has yet to decide what will happen with the sludge after this.


Press release

NIB finances water treatment for Bergen, Norway

Press release

NIB finansierer oppgradering av vannrenseanlegg i Bergen