ASTANA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering providing financing of up to US$72 million for Kazakhstan’s first major wind farm, EBRD First Vice President Philip Bennett confirmed on a trip to Almaty on Nov. 18. The loan would fund building, commissioning and operation of the project.
The proposed 50 megawatt wind power plant in the Yereymentau region, a project owned by Samruk Green Energy, has passed the concept review and is awaiting final review. The project may also be eligible for an additional US$24.3 million through EBRD’s Clean Technology Fund, which helps finance projects with the potential for long-term greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Bennett, meeting with representatives of the Kazakh government and the country’s business community on his first trip to Kazakhstan for the EBRD, reaffirmed the bank’s support for Kazakhstan’s sustainable development and its National Green Growth Concept. He said he looked forward to identifying bankable projects in the renewable energy sector and hoped to work with towns around the country on public transport, waste management, heating networks and water supply. EBRD has invested more than US$500 million over the last five years on energy-efficiency projects in Kazakhstan, recently financing new pollution-reducing trolleybuses for Almaty’s public transportation system.
Bennett said during his trip that the EBRD had developed a new strategy focused on diversifying the economy both away from state projects and away from urban centres. “But we’re also extremely focused on the green economy and energy efficiency aspects of the green economy. … We’re also working in renewables, in sustainables, in wind power, and we have, we hope, an investment coming up there in the very, very near future,” he said.
“Our whole focus on the green economy and diversification are helping us take on a role that is already very significant,” he added. “We are the largest investor outside the oil and gas sector and we intend on building on that and continuing to accentuate our focus and our emphasis away from the oil and gas sector and trying to move away from the government sector as much as possible, but recognising that the government sector and the municipal sector are important aspects for the development of the economy.”
The EBRD provides financing for banks, industries and businesses, with a particular goal of fostering the transition of countries from Central Europe through Central Asia and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean to market economies. The EBRD has invested more than US$6.6 billion in Kazakhstan since 1993. Currently, 53 percent of the bank’s Kazakhstan portfolio is in the private sector.