ASTANA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a 2.5 billion tenge (US$13.4 million) loan to replace obsolete rolling stock in the city of Pavlodar, an EBRD press release announced on May 21. The loan, supplemented by government grants, will be used to modernise the tramway system in the northeastern city of more than 330,000.
Through the modernisation project, operated by the Pavlodar Tram Management Company, a public-private partnership, 25 new tram cars will be purchased (an upgrade of more than one third of the city’s current rolling stock), fix rail junctions and update other public transport infrastructure, the EBRD said. The company will also receive a grant from the government of Kazakhstan of up to 910 million tenge (US$4.89 million), and the city akimat (local government) is also expected to contribute.
The EBRD and government support comes through the Enhanced Partnership established by the two parties in May 2014, which allows them to jointly support quality of life projects, including upgrading utilities and transport. The newest agreement was signed on the sidelines of the Astana Economic Forum, which took place in the Kazakh capital from May 21–22. “We are proud to support the modernisation of tram infrastructure and the purchase of new tram cars in Pavlodar. The modernisation programme will include not only physical upgrades but also introduction of a Public Service Contract, a mechanism to boost performance, cost effectiveness and transparency,” said EBRD Managing Director Natalia Khanzhenkova at the signing, as reported by the EBRD.
So far this year, the EBRD has announced a $45 million loan to support small business in Kazakhstan and a $100 million loan to upgrade an ore-processing plant in eastern Kazakhstan, among other projects.
Pavlodar is one of Kazakhstan’s oldest cities.