Both the government and the private sector in Kazakhstan agree on the same goal: turning its economy green. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is supporting Kazakhstan to achieve that goal by increasing funding for energy efficiency.
The EBRD is arranging a €106 million syndicated loan for the benefit of the Central Asian Electric Power Corporation (CAEPCO), one of the few private operators in the power sector of Kazakhstan. The EBRD will also provide grant funding of €400,000 to the Ministry of Environmental Protection for improvement of environmental standards, and over €160,000 to the company for energy efficiency-associated audits and research.
CAEPCO will use the loan to reduce heat and electricity losses – which will mean more efficiency and less pollution. The company will modernise energy generators and optimise electricity distribution networks in the cities of Pavlodar and Petropavlovsk in Kazakhstan.
The improvements will save almost half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. For Kazakhstan – which emits the most CO2 per capita in the ex-USSR – this means a saving of half a day of emissions for the entire country.
At the signing ceremony in Almaty, the EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We support the government’s drive to have a greener and more efficient country. What makes this deal even more important is that this improvement in efficiency will be made by a private company. We call on the government to raise standards in the industry to international levels, which will enable entrepreneurs to help the country go greener”.
Alexander Klebanov, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at CAEPCO, said: “Being a socially responsible business, CAEPCO JSC implements an investment programme aimed at improving reliability of power equipment and rendering quality services to consumers. Even before this deal, we invested tens of millions of US dollars into modernisation and renovation of outdated and worn-out equipment and to improvements of environmental standards”.
CAEPCO accounts for almost 6 per cent of electricity production in Kazakhstan, serving almost a million customers. The EBRD is a shareholder in the company with almost 25 per cent of shares.
In Kazakhstan, as elsewhere, one of the EBRD’s priorities is energy efficiency. In all its countries of operations, the Bank has invested over €11 billion in energy efficiency projects. At its Annual Meeting in Istanbul in May, the EBRD launched a new Sustainable Resource Initiative, which widens its existing Sustainable Energy Initiative.