ASTANA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided loan of up to $40 million to Kazakhstan to support the development of modern logistical infrastructure and address the bottlenecks along the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), identified in a study on sustainable transport connections between Europe and Central Asia, reported the bank’s press service on Dec. 27.
The bank’s loan to Kazakhstan’s largest private rolling stock operator, Eastcomtrans, will help expand its container handling capacity at one of the most congested junctions near the city of Almaty and ensure uninterrupted operation of its railway park.
“Eastcomtrans, the bank’s client since 2014 and owner of 8% of the country’s total rolling stock, will use the funds to develop its Zhetygen logistical center, acquire up to 250 new rail cars and maintain its existing stock,” according to the bank.
Situated near the country’s largest municipality and close to the Chinese border, the upgraded logistical hub will serve as an important junction on the TITR and add to the fluidity of cargo traffic across Kazakhstan. With trade volumes, particularly container traffic, between Asia and Europe expected to rise, it will be able to meet growing demand for freight transit.
As part of the project, Eastcomtrans will develop an equal opportunities strategy to increase women’s employment in currently male-dominated occupations and improve access to accredited training for both young women and men.
With over 10 billion euros (US$11.1 billion) invested in the country to date through 313 projects, Kazakhstan is the EBRD’s largest and longest-running banking operation in Central Asia.