ASTANA (TCA) — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Kazakhstan’s national gas operator, KazTransGas, have agreed to join forces in supporting the country’s drive towards a green economy.
According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Astana on October 26, the two partners will explore ways to promote energy efficiency in the gas sector, the EBRD press office said. A more efficient use of energy and reduced losses will strengthen energy security and help Kazakhstan cut greenhouse gas emissions. The document was signed by EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett and Rustam Suleimanov, the General Director of KazTransGas.
The EBRD and KazTransGas, which is mainly engaged in the transportation, sale, exploration and production of natural gas in Kazakhstan, will examine specific possibilities for modernisation and energy efficiency improvements in gas compressor stations and gas networks, systems responsible for the monitoring and control of fugitive greenhouse gas emissions and of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
The EBRD is a leader in sustainable energy investments, including in other countries of Central Asia and eastern Europe with similar energy efficiency challenge, and in research and technical cooperation related to energy and resource efficiency. The cooperation framework will allow KazTransGas to benefit from EBRD expertise in this area.
The EBRD and KazTransGas started cooperating in May this year, when the EBRD committed nearly €300 million to two landmark projects in Kazakhstan aimed at the modernisation of gas networks and the fuel switch from coal to gas for heat and power generation with the upgrade of the Bozoi underground gas storage to help it reach full capacity.
The signing of the MoU comes shortly before the COP22 climate talks in Morocco. As a result of the historic COP21 talks in Paris last year, Kazakhstan has undertaken to reduce its CO2 emissions and increase the sustainable use of energy. The EBRD has consistently supported Kazakhstan’s policy to build up a “green economy” by financing the first solar and wind power renewable energy projects, a range of energy efficiency projects, as well as by supporting the introduction of renewable energy law.