EBRD considers financing first major wind farm in Kazakhstan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett has reaffirmed the Bank's support for the National Green Growth Plan announced by the government of Kazakhstan during his first visit to Kazakhstan for the Bank.

During meetings with members of the Kazakh government and business community, Mr Bennett stressed that the EBRD remains committed to the country’s sustainable development. He stressed that the Bank places special emphasis on sustainable energy and is ready to support viable projects in the nascent renewables sector, specifically wind and solar power. The EBRD is already considering financing the first major wind farm in Kazakhstan, in Yereymentau.

"We look forward to working together with the authorities to identify and finance bankable projects in this sector. We are also committed to supporting regional development and improving people's lives through investments in municipal and environmental infrastructure. A good example of this is our ongoing cooperation with the city of Almaty, which has just added new trolleybuses to its transport fleet to reduce pollution. We hope to work with other municipalities across the country to improve public transport, waste management, district heating networks, and water supply," said Mr Bennett.

The EBRD has a long track record of engagement in sustainable energy in Kazakhstan and has supported the country’s participation in the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The legal framework for renewable energy in Kazakhstan was developed with the EBRD’s involvement and US$ 1 million in financial support from the CTF. Since 2008, the Bank has invested over US$ 500 million for energy efficiency improvements in Kazakhstan, accounting for more than 20 per cent of the EBRD’s overall investments in the country. It is now developing new approaches to financing clean technology transfer to Kazakh industry with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

A recent example of these is a €106 million energy efficiency loan to CAEPCO, one of the few private companies in Kazakhstan’s energy sector. The loan will enable the rehabilitation and modernisation of CAEPCO’s combined heat and power generating capacity as well as the company’s distribution network. The project is expected to lead to a reduction in carbon emissions of 470,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The EBRD’s draft strategy for Kazakhstan, which prioritises sustainability, is currently available for public comment on the EBRD website.