Kazakhstan’s drive towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy by cutting the use of coal-fired power stations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 per cent by the end of 2030 will receive a boost following the approval of a new financing facility from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to KazTransGas, the operator of the national gas transportation system KazTransGas.
The facility of up to €243.5 million will help KazTransGas address the company’s liquidity and working-capital needs caused by the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, and will also secure the uninterrupted supply of natural gas to households across Kazakhstan. In addition, it will contribute to the national green economy strategy adopted in 2013 and designed to move the power sector away from its current predominance of coal. The increased use of natural gas in the country is part of the transition process from a fossil-fuel-dependent energy sector to a regional leader in renewable energy.
The EBRD package will consist of a €100 million working-capital loan (in Kazakh tenge (KZT) equivalent) and a KZT 53.9 billion (€115.8 million equivalent) balance-sheet restructuring loan to the KazTransGas subsidiary Intergas Central Asia responsible for the operation and maintenance of gas transportation networks in Kazakhstan.
Up to KZT 12.9 billion (€27.7 million) will be provided for balance sheet restructuring to the subsidiary KazTransGas Aimak (KTGA), the largest natural gas supply, distribution and operation company present in 10 regions of Kazakhstan.
The EBRD financing will enable the KazTransGas subsidiaries to improve their environmental footprint with measures such as the development and implementation of a programme to reduce fugitive methane emissions and carbon intensity in support of Kazakhstan’s green economy strategy.
As part of the project, and with EBRD support, KTGA will develop and implement a corporate governance action plan, which will contribute to further commercialisation, greater efficiency and institutional strengthening.
Support for existing clients is part of the EBRD’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The EBRD expects the entirety of its investments of up to €21 billion in 2020-21 to be dedicated to the response to and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
In Kazakhstan, the EBRD has invested €8.63 billion through 273 projects in the economy to date.
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