Kazakh Energy Market to Introduce Greener Solutions to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2060

ASTANA – The British-Kazakh Society (BKS) organized a webinar on Feb. 8 to address the transitional balance of coal, oil, gas, and renewables in Kazakhstan, as the country is boosting gas generation, developing clean energy projects, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.   

The BKS webinar “Kazakhstan at the Energy Crossroads.” Photo credit: astanatimes.com.

The KazMunayGas (KMG) national oil and gas company, the Samruk Energy power holding, and the Qazaq Green Association (QGA) on renewable energy development shared their results and plans for Kazakhstan’s transition to a green economy. 

S&P Global Executive Director of Energy Matthew J. Sagers, the webinar’s moderator, noted “the past few years were very challenging for the energy sector – the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, rising prices globally in 2021, and war in Ukraine in 2022.” 

According to him, the energy sector accounts for nearly 20 percent of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP), remaining the economy’s largest sector.  

Samruk Energy CEO Serik Tyutebayev highlighted the holding’s leading position in Kazakhstan, saying the company produces 37.3 percent of coal, generates 31.8 percent of electricity, and 8.3 percent of renewable energy produced in the country.

“We mine coal and generate energy at the two largest power plants, GRES-1 and GRES-2, in Pavlodar. We are also building wind farms in the city of Yereimentau in the Akmola Region for renewable energy development,” said Tyutebayev.  

“Large hydroelectric power plants are operating in the south of Kazakhstan, including the Moinak hydropower plant, as well as wind and solar power plants. It is worth noting that our solar power plants were pioneers in this direction,” he noted.  

Regarding the international environmental agenda in energy production, Tyutebayev said by 2031 the company “aims to reduce the net carbon footprint by 30 percent, and by 2060, plans to reach carbon neutrality.” The energy transition plan was approved.

The Yereimentau wind power station. Photo credit: samruk-energy.kz.

“Our major task is to reduce emissions, implement measures to optimize fuel use, and develop renewable energy sources, particularly wind farms. We are moving from coal to gas generation together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB),” he said. 

Speaking about their strategic goals in transport and logistics, KMG Director of Strategy and Investment Aisha Turebayeva said the company is developing additional export routes and negotiating with partners to open the south corridor and increase volumes sent to China. According to her, KMG aims to expand the Kazakhstan-China pipeline to 20 million tons a year. It is China’s first direct oil import pipeline, which runs from the Caspian shore in Kazakhstan to the Chinese region of Xinjiang.  

The focus areas of KMG include developing renewable energy power, creating bioenergy feedstocks and biofuel, implementing carbon offset projects, and increasing energy and operational efficiency by 10 percent. 

Power Energy Department Director at the Kazakh Energy Ministry Darkhan Akhmetov reported that today Kazakhstan has 130 renewable energy facilities with a total capacity of 2,388 megawatts.

According to him, it is planned to build GRES-3 in the city of Ekibastuz with an estimated capacity of 1,200 megawatts, construct modernized thermal power stations in Semei and Kokshetau, and develop renewable energy sources with a total capacity of 4,000 megawatts. “The commissioning of 12 renewable energy facilities has also created 158 permanent workplaces,” said QGA Chair Ainur Sospanova. 

She noted Kazakhstan had signed an intergovernmental agreement with France on the construction of a one-gigawatt wind farm in the south of the country.

The plant, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2026-2027 in the Zhambyl Region, will increase the total generation of renewable energy facilities in Kazakhstan by nearly 50 percent and become the first in the country to have an electricity accumulation system.  

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