The proposed project consists of a 2nd and 3rd section:
1) 2nd section
475 km 500 kV OHTL “1150 kV Ekibastuzskaya SS - 500 kV Agadyr SS”, with extension of 500 kV Outdoor Switchgear at 1150 kV Ekibastuzskaya SS and 500 kV Outdoor Switchgear at Agadyr SS;
2) 3rd section
390 km 500 kV OHTL “500 kV Agadyr SS - 500 kV YuKGRES SS”, with extension to connections to 500 kV Outdoor Switchgear at 500 kV Agadyr SS and to 500 kV Outdoor Switchgear at 500 kV YuKGRES SS.
The Bank's funding will primarily be used for civil works, steel towers, overhead transmission line conductors and other equipment between YukGRES and Agadyr substations.
The objectives of the proposed project are to address energy and peak supply deficits in South Kazakhstan, improve electricity transmission reliability, reduce transmission losses and contribute to development of regional electricity trade in Central Asia.
The proposed project will promote competition and trade both on national and regional levels in allowing low cost producers in North Kazakhstan to supply South Kazakhstan and the Central Asia integrated system, and to meet winter electricity supply shortages in South Kazakhstan. The project will contribute to the integration of the regional economy. In addition, the project will seek to achieve improvements in the existing transmission tariff methodology to reflect best international practice.
Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), the 100%-State-ownednatural monopoly high-voltage long distance electricity transmission company.
A non-sovereign, secured, senior loan of USD 87.8 million to be partially syndicated to commercial banks.
Approx. USD 245.7 million.
Screening categories and rationale for classification
The operation and construction of such high voltage power transmission lines have specific environmental, health and safety impacts which, however, can be readily identified and prevented through adequate measures and application of good international practice. The project follows an existing transmission line corridor and will not be associated with either new routing nor will it traverse environmentally sensitive or populated areas. For the above reasons, the EBRD has classified the project B/1, requiring an Environmental Analysis and Environmental Audit.
An independent consultant was engaged to prepare an Environmental Audit and Analysis of the project, and confirmed no significant environmental issues.
Key Environmental issues and mitigation
This public sector project involves construction of a new power transmission line. Because the line will follow an existing corridor, the environmental impacts associated with air emissions, physical alteration and the impact on sensitive natural habitats, archaeological sites, and agricultural and commercial areas are expected to be limited. Some impact may arise from disposal of construction waste; there is also the issue of occupational safety during construction. However, these construction related issues can be dealt with by applying appropriate working practises, thus keeping any negative impact to a minimum.
The consultant summarized the key environmental aspects of the project as follows:
- Environmental impacts of transmission line projects are usually well-defined and limited in time and space; impacts can be mitigated with well-known practices of sound engineering design and construction management;
- The entire length of the line route from Agadyr to YukGRES passes through uninhabited steppe (in some areas extensively used pastures); there are no settlements within a boundary at 1 km on either side of the line route and therefore, no resettlement is required;
- The line route will follow an existing corridor of power transmission line(s); there is an existing 500 kV transmission line along the entire line route from Agadyr to YukGRES as well as one or two other transmission lines along some shorter sections; hence, the planned transmission line is not a “greenfield” project;
- The impacts on the physical and biological environment are mainly limited to the construction stage; those impacts are limited in time and extent and are therefore considered to be moderate on condition that suitable working practices and adequate mitigation measures are applied;
- No protected areas have been identified within the transmission line right-of-way (such as nature reserves, archaeological and cultural sites);
- There are no land acquisition or expropriation issues associated with the project since the majority of land within the right-of-way is state property; for privately owned land, KEGOC has already come to agreements with the owners;
- Nearby the line route, there will be an increase in electromagnetic radiation; since these areas are uninhabited and by ensuring health protection zones or limited access areas, those impacts are considered to be moderate;
- An environmental monitoring programme will be prepared and implemented as part of the project implementation plan.
KEGOC will be required to adhere to Kazakh environmental, health and safety regulations and design the project in line with EU environmental standards. In line with national requirements an Environmental Impact Assessment will be undertaken as part of the design approval process. This will also include public consultations as required under National legislation. No separate Environmental Action Plan is required.
Disclosure of information and consultation
In the context of the EBRD’s participation in the project, KEGOC released locally a summary of relevant environmental issues associated with the project both in Kazak and Russian language.
Monitoring and reporting
The Company will monitor the environmental impact of its operations in accordance with the law and regulations of Kazakhstan. The Bank will evaluate the project's compliance with the applicable environmental and social requirements during the lifetime of the project by reviewing annual environmental reports prepared for the project covering:
- ongoing performance of project-specific environmental, health and safety, and
- the status of implementation of environmental mitigation and improvement measures.
The Bank’s representatives will also conduct periodic site supervision visits when deemed appropriate.
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