ASTANA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a memorandum with the East Kazakhstan region akimat (administration) Aug. 2 to provide a 3 billion tenge (US$9 million) senior loan to modernise the district heating system in Ust-Kamenogorsk.
The investment is aimed at improving energy efficiency, reducing heat loss and optimising operations. The Kazakh government is expected to allocate an additional investment grant of 1.8 billion tenge (US$5.4 million) as part of the Enhanced Partnership Framework Arrangement between the bank and Kazakhstan. The city will also earmark 200 million tenge (US$604,400) from its budget.
“I am pleased to say that the East Kazakhstan region has become the most active in the country in attracting EBRD financing for its public utilities. The loan we are signing today is one of several investments we are working on. The EBRD is the largest international investor in the regions of Kazakhstan. We are committed to creating new enterprises and jobs in remote regions as well as improving essential public services,” said EBRD Director for Infrastructure in Russia and Central Asia Ekaterina Miroshnik.
Plans include replacing the 2.2 kilometres of transmission network, modernising the power supply and automation system at pumping stations and heat supply units and purchasing special equipment to repair and maintain the heat supply facilities.
Cooperation with the bank provides tangible results and offers optimism about the future, said East Kazakhstan region Akim (Governor) Daniyal Akhmetov.
“We need to shift financing infrastructure facilities to the private sector. We have developed several interesting projects in the field of mineral extraction and this is another area of work with the EBRD,” he added.
A senior loan of up to 3.6 billion tenge (US$10.8 million) was also signed to finance updating the street lighting systems in Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey in June.
Kazakhstan became the second largest EBRD market in 2016 with more than 1.05 billion euro (US$1.24 billion) in annual investments due to the 2014 Enhanced Partnership Framework Arrangement, in which the government co-finances modernisation projects with investment grants.
The EBRD has invested more than 7.3 billion euros (US$8.6 billion) in various sectors of the Kazakh economy with a focus on non-oil and gas areas and approximately 1.65 billion euros (US$1.94 billion) in sustainable energy and resource projects.