The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a key international investor in Kazakhstan, is providing support to the national energy company, Samruk-Energy, as it embarks on an ambitious programme of privatisation in line with the strategy of its parent holding, the sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna.
The EBRD will lend Samruk-Energy the equivalent of up to €100 million, provided in tenge or roubles, which will be part of the company’s balance-sheet optimisation. Samruk-Energy plans to privatise up to nine subsidiary firms. The company’s ultimate goal is to prepare itself for a public listing on an international stock exchange, according to EBRD.
The EBRD will also support Samruk-Energy’s plan to provide more employment and career growth opportunities for women and young people. Improving education related to the power sector is part of the plan to promote youth inclusion in the sector.
Aida Sitdikova, EBRD Director, Energy and Natural Resources, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, said: “The Bank is the largest investor in Kazakhstan and we are committed to working with the government to increase the role of private enterprises in the country’s economy. This new cooperation with Samruk-Energy, a longstanding client of the Bank, is a major step in that direction. The EBRD loan will also support the company’s initiative to work with universities to provide more education opportunities in the power sector of Kazakhstan.”
Almassadam Satkaliyev, Chairman of the Board of JSC Samruk-Energy, said: “The signing of the loan agreement with the EBRD will have a positive impact on the attractiveness of Samruk-Energy to investors and will support the further development of the power sector in Kazakhstan. Samruk-Energy is looking forward to a fruitful long-term cooperation with the EBRD in the energy sector and the further development of a mutually beneficial partnership.”
Samruk-Energy and the EBRD have already cooperated on two landmark renewable energy projects, a wind farm in Yereymentau near the capital, Astana, and an upgrade of a hydropower station in Shardara. This work comes under the EBRD Green Economy Transition approach, which has many goals in common with Kazakhstan’s green economy strategy. Renewable energy is also an important part of Samruk-Energy’s upcoming transformation plan.
To date, the EBRD has invested over €7.1 billion (equivalent to over US$ 7.6 billion) in various sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy. The Bank’s work in Kazakhstan is aimed at building up a resilient and integrated economy, capable of responding to global challenges such as climate change.