ASTANA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a $37.6 million post-privatisation loan to the Mangistau Regional Distribution Company (MRDC) to help the company improve efficiency and promote renewable power integration in the region.
The loan will help MRDC, a major power utility in western Kazakhstan, finance its investment programme until 2020. MRDC was recently privatised under a government programme and the majority interest is now owned by Kazakhstan Utility Systems (KUS), a privately-owned company that operates in electricity and heat generation, distribution and supply.
“We are pleased to start EBRD’s engagement with Kazakhstan Utility Systems and to continue our support of renewables and privatisation in the Kazakh energy sector,” EBRD Director for Energy and Natural Resources for Russia, the Caucasus and the Central Asian Region Aida Sitdikova said
“KUS is pleased to sign the first transaction with the EBRD and considers that this project is an important first step that unlocks huge potential for our cooperation in the future,” Kazakhstan Utility Systems CEO and MRDC Chairman Nabi Aitzhanov noted.
The EBRD loan will help finance MRDC’s priority investments, up to 40 subprojects, which include modernisation of the existing substations and distribution lines, the construction of new power lines and the installation of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems (SCADA) and modern automatic control systems.
MRDC’s network capacity, efficiency and reliability will be significantly improved and will allow a smooth integration of renewable energy production elements into the grid. After the implementation of the project, MRDC will be able to achieve better efficiency and reduce energy losses, resulting in the reduction of CO2 emissions by 11,670 tonnes per year.
The loan will be the fourth sub-project under the Kazakhstan Renewables project established by the bank in 2016. EBRD is the largest financier of renewable energy in Kazakhstan. As of today, it has invested more than $8.7 billion in the Kazakh economy.