EBRD finances better street lighting in two cities in East Kazakhstan

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ASTANA (TCA) — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it is increasing its support for municipalities in wider areas of Kazakhstan with a new investment signed on the sidelines of the 30th Foreign Investors’ Council meeting in Astana last week.

The loans will finance investments in improvements of street lighting which will have a tangible impact on the quality of people’s lives.

A senior loan of up to KZT 3.6 billion (€10.3 million-equivalent) will finance the modernisation of street lighting systems in the cities of Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey in East Kazakhstan Region. The introduction of new, energy-efficient technologies will make streets not only brighter but also safer. New contract arrangements will involve the private sector as supplier.

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are very pleased to sign these agreements today with the region which is fast becoming the EBRD’s most active partner in Kazakhstan. They illustrate what the EBRD can do and they demonstrate what Kazakhstan needs: investments on the level of municipalities with a direct impact on the quality of live. These are excellent examples how Kazakhstan is working to improve the standard of services to face the challenges of the 21st century. The EBRD remains committed to supporting these efforts as a loyal and dedicated partner and friend of the country.”

In parallel, the Akim (governor) of the East Kazakhstan Region, Danial Akhmetov, and the Akims (mayors) of Semey and Ust-Kamenogorsk cities within the region signed the project support agreements.

To date, the EBRD has invested €7.3 billion in various sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy, with a focus on non-oil and gas sectors where it is the largest institutional investor.

Thanks to the Enhanced Partnership Framework Arrangement with the government, signed in 2014, the EBRD has significantly scaled up its investment in public utilities and other socially important projects across the country, where the government co-finances modernisation projects with investment grants. Thanks to this partnership, Kazakhstan became second largest EBRD market in 2016, with over €1.05 billion annual investment.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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