EBRD supports water and waste water system improvements in Kazakh municipalities

By Sergiy Grytsenko

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has teamed up with Kazakhstan’s authorities to improve drinking water supply and wastewater management services in three municipalities across the country.

With the EBRD’s support, Kazakhstan’s Agency for Construction, Housing and Utilities, the Agency for Regulation of Natural Monopolies of Kazakhstan, and Akimats (municipalities) of Taraz, Atyrau, Semey will seek to modernise the sector by modernising the existing and creating new water management facilities.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, the cities will involve private investors in the implementation of joint water and waste water management projects.

The special scheme for public-private projects aims to improve water systems, providing for the regulation of water consumption by introducing new water meters and reduce leakages and financial losses. The improvements at wastewater treatment facilities will lead to better environmental protection.

“Today’s Memorandum enhances our bilateral cooperation with Kazakhstan’s housing authorities to support the modernisation of water management infrastructure. Together with its private partners the EBRD aims to look at how we can help the municipalities in Kazakhstan to have better services, including improved water and wastewater systems,” EBRD Managing Director for Turkey, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Olivier Descamps said during the signing ceremony at the EBRD’s 20th Annual Meeting in Kazakh capital Astana.

The Bank will consider providing significant funding in the range of US$ 100 million to support the preparation of public-private partnership projects in the selected cities.

“The  Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan intends to attract  private investors to carry out water and wastewater projects. We will cooperate with the EBRD to prepare pilot public-private partnership projects in several cities in Kazakhstan,” said Umirzak  Shukeev, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

In line with its current investment strategy for Kazakhstan, the EBRD focuses on strengthening the country’s financial sector, promoting economic diversification and innovation, developing infrastructure, addressing energy imbalances and improving energy efficiency.

Since the beginning of its operations in Kazakhstan, the EBRD has invested over €2.8 billion in over 130 projects in various sectors of the Kazakh economy, mobilising additional investments in excess of about €6 billion, with about 70 per cent of the projects’ being investments into the development of the country’s private sector.