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Pilot Program for Environment Restoration


Pilot Program for Environment Restoration (PPER) was developed to mitigate the severe environmental contamination at the MDK copper smelter and refinery in Pirdop, which is in operation since 1957.

When the Belgian metallurgical group Union Miniere acquired MDK, an environmental Remediation Program was designed as part of the privatisation deal in cooperation with the World Bank.

To reduce environmental hazards caused by past pollution at MDK;
To contribute to improvements in the environmental performance of the plant;
To facilitate the privatization of MDK by reducing uncertainties and concerns of strategic investor(s) about environmental liability issues;

Part A is an emergency mitigation of immediate environmental hazards and Part B is a remediation of critical environmental damage done in the past.


The NTEF through a grant of USD 3.3 mill for purchasing equipment under Part A (successfully completed in November 1999);
A loan to the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria by the World Bank at the amount USD 16 mill;
The Bulgarian Government through grants for a total of USD 5.7 mill. ;


As per the Implementation Agreements, respectively for Part A (signed on 27 March 1998) and Part B (July 1998),Union Miniere Pirdop Copper (UMPC) was the Implementing Agency for the Program. In addition, NTEF was the Project Coordination Agent, based on an Agency Agreement between MoEW and NTEF.

The Program is the largest project of the Fund so far and a major achievement in one of the four priority areas with its contribution of USD 3.3 mill. The Fund’s role of a Coordinator in Part B of the Program imposed a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Conducting research and preparation of expertise on technical solutions;
  • Evaluation and approval of technical specifications;
  • Evaluation and approval of tender documents and procedures;
  • Revision and approval of draft contracts with contractors and suppliers;
  • Examination, control and approval on completed activities;
  • Preparation and presentation of progress reports to the Program Oversight Committee and the World Bank;
  • Preparation and submitting requests for withdrawal of funds from the bank loan.
The collaboration between the World Bank and NTEF regarding the Program became a very positive experience for both sides and resulted in the Bank’s strong support for the Fund.
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