Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Rehabilitation of an industrial polluted site

Organisation: Focus Eco Center Website: Added: February 09, 2023
Project start date: June 01, 2012
Project end date: September 30, 2020


In 1975, the local chemical fertilizer platform (Azomures) established the current 30 ha basin with a dual role: that of an open basin for closed-circuit cooling of acid hot water from the technological process of manufacturing complex fertilizers (NPK) and that of storing calcium carbonate suspensions and other insoluble salts as a result of water cooling. This "slurry" of insoluble salts was deposited in the pond at a faster rate than expected, mostly in the first 2-3 years of its operation. Subsequent rethinking and modification of some phases of the technological process of the NPK complex fertilizer plant served by the pond and its operation under extremely rigorous conditions, allowed the prolongation of the operation of the pond until 31.12.2006, when the pond activities were taken out of operation and became a potential high risk pollution source. In 2011 the Municipality of Targu Mures took over the site and initiated the rehabilitation of the polluted site with EU Funds. The project Rehabilitation of the historical polluted site - Iaz Batal 30 ha - Tîrgu Mureș was designed to rehabilitate the site, bringing it to acceptable clean-up standards. The project concept was to provide an acceptable, cost-effective and efficient use of resources and best available techniques. The method selected for remediation consisted of covering and draining the entire batal pond in Târgu Mureș. The project involved covering the entire site with membranes, cleaning the soil layer and draining rainwater. This approach allowed to reduce to some extent the flow of inorganic substances reaching the groundwater table and to protect the surface waters (outfalls: the Mures river and the tributary collection channel).

Financial data

Total costs: Phase 1: 29.565.987 lei (7.040.000 EURO) financed by SOP Environment, Phase 2: 37.764.284,43 lei (8.200.000 EURO) financed by OP Big Infrastructure


In Romania there are several polluted sites inherited from the communist industry. One of these sites is the industrial pond from Tg. Mures, operated by the artificial fertilized company Azomures. This company is one of the biggest companies in this branch from Romania and for year has an important profit which could be reinvested in the elimination of the pollution. After the privatization (1998) the company has several owners. In the privatization act were included several conditions concerning the environmental standards, but most of these conditions were never fulfilled and the Azomures company was permanently criticized by the citizens of the city because of the pollution caused. Mainly the air pollution was observed by the citizens but the risk with the pond (batal) was also vet high. When the owner of the company became Ameropa Holding AG, the citizens hoped that the environmental standard will be improved but these hopes were not too much fulfilled. When became clear that the new owner has no any intention to invest in the rehabilitation of the historical polluted site (even if the profit of the company was very high, according to the published information Azomures has the position 9 on the list of 50 most profitable companies from Romania), the city of Tg. Mures take the responsibility to rehabilitate the historical polluted site. In this respect, to be eligible for EU funds, the propriety was taken over by the municipality. The municipality elaborated the project and applied for EU funds, and finally the historical polluted site was rehabilitated. We can consider this project as a success story considering the rehabilitation of a historical polluted site, and the elimination of a potential pollution source for one of major rivers from Romania (Mures river), and a good practice (example) for other industrially polluted sites from Romania. From other hand it is a question if the owners of the company couldn’t be forced by legal instruments to invest in the rehabilitation of the polluted sites (they have to know that they became owner not only of the profitable activities but also of the problems, as the polluted sites). We can expect especially from the companies from Western Europe to respect the same standards as in their own country. So the question is if it is efficient to invest EU money in elimination of the pollution created by companies with important profit of it is better to use legal instruments to force these companies to solve the pollution problems. Our opinion is that first responsibility is on the side of the companies and our recommendation is to use legal instruments to determinate the companies to solve these problems and only in the last phase (mainly in the case of companies which are dissolved) us pubic money for the solution of these problems.

Information sources

Other info

The project was realised in two phases: phase 1: „Reabilitarea sitului poluat istoric – Iaz Batal 30 ha – Târgu Mureș”( Rehabilitation of the historical polluted site - Iaz Batal 30 ha Târgu Mureș)”SOP Mediu 2007-2013, phase 2: „Fazarea proiectului Reabilitarea sitului poluat istoric – Iaz Batal 30 ha – Tîrgu Mureş (Phasing of the project Rehabilitation of the historical polluted site - Iaz Batal 30 ha - Tirgu Mures)”OP Big Infrastructure 2017-2022,

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.