The FINANCIAL — The EBRD is increasing its support for municipalities in the regions of Kazakhstan with a new investment in East Kazakhstan: the modernisation of the district heating system of the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk.
The investment will improve energy efficiency, reduce heat loss and optimise operations. The implementation will have a tangible impact on people’s lives as customers will benefit from better quality of supply, which is essential in a region where winter temperatures tend to drop as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius in winter, according to EBRD.
The EBRD will provide a senior loan of Tenge 3.0 billion (€9.1 million equivalent) for the project. Additional support is being provided by the government of Kazakhstan with an investment grant of Tenge 1.8 billion (€5.5 million equivalent) under the Enhanced Partnership Framework Arrangement between the EBRD and Kazakhstan. An additional Tenge 200 million will come from the budget of the city.
The project was signed by the region’s governor (Akim), Danial Akhmetov, and EBRD Director for Infrastructure in Russia and Central Asia, Ekaterina Miroshnik, who said: “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.”
Two other projects benefiting the East Kazakhstan region were signed earlier this summer. In June 2017, during a visit of EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti to Astana, a senior loan of up to Tenge 3.6 billion (€10.3 million equivalent) was signed to finance the modernisation of street lighting systems in Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey. The Bank will also finance the Kyzyl gold development which has committed to create 400 new local jobs and provide work and training opportunities for local women and youth.
To date, the EBRD has invested €7.3 billion in various sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy with a focus on non-oil and gas sectors, where it is the largest institutional investor.
Thanks to the 2014 Enhanced Partnership Framework Arrangement the EBRD has significantly scaled up its investment in public utilities and other socially important projects across the country, where the government co-finances modernisation projects with investment grants. Thanks to this partnership, Kazakhstan became the second largest EBRD market in 2016 with over €1.05 billion in annual investment.