Kazakhstan to Start Large Road Projects in 2015

ASTANA – The government of Kazakhstan will allocate 178 billion tenge (US$977.75 million) in 2015 and a further 143.3 billion tenge (US$787.14 million)in 2016 from the country’s National Fund for road improvements, according to a Kazinform report dated Dec. 4. The funds will be used to improve major routes, including Centre-South (Astana-Karaganda-Balkhash-Almaty), Centre-East (Astana-Pavlodar-Aktau), and Centre-West (Astana-Arkalyk-Torgai-Shalkar-Beineu-Aktau).

Road and infrastructure improvements are a major component of the country’s new Nurly Zhol economic policy. President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in his Nov. 11 state-of-the-nation address titled, “Nurly Zhol – Path to the Future,” that developing transport and logistics infrastructure will improve the nation’s economy, facilitate entrepreneurialism and strengthen inter-regional cooperation.

International organisations, such as the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) are expected to provide approximately 760 billion tenge (US$4.2 billion) until 2020 for the road improvements.

The projects are expected to create 200,000 jobs until 2020, according to government estimations.

Furthermore, 2015 will see an allocation of 6.7 billion tenge (US$36.8 million) for the Borzhakty-Ersai railway project and 4.8 billion tenge (US$26.36 million) for the construction of a ferry complex in the Kuryk port of the Mangistau region.

The Western Europe-Western China road corridor is expected to be launched in 2015 while the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway was completed and launched earlier in December. The new railway is expected to increase the transit of goods between the countries to 40 million tonnes annually.