Regional center in Kazakhstan to upgrade public transport fleet with EBRD help

ASTANA (TCA) — The population of Oskemen in East Kazakhstan will benefit from the introduction of modern energy efficient diesel buses, which will partially replace the city’s ageing public transport fleet with the help of a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) loan, the Bank said on November 14.

The buses will be compliant with EURO-5 or higher emission standard with improved accessibility requirements and comfort for passengers, including disabled and elderly people.

The capital of the East Kazakhstan Oblast, also known as Ust-Kamenogorsk, with a population of more than 300,000 is planning to purchase around 85 new buses, which will be procured by a newly established and municipally owned public transport company Transportnaya Kompaniya Goroda Ust-Kamenogorska LLP through an open international tender.

The company will own the buses, which will be operated and maintained by experienced private bus operators under public service contracts.

The investment will have a significant positive impact on the improvement of environmental situation in the city. The new buses will comply with EURO 5 emission standard, which will help reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions by 26 tons annually.

The EBRD will provide a 10-year loan of KZT 3.5 billion (€8.1 million) to the company, which will be complemented by a KZT 1.5 billion (€3.5 million equivalent) co-financing from the Oblast Akimat (administration).

Technical cooperation support in the amount of over €1.2 million will be provided by the EBRD and other donors and will help the company with project implementation and the facilitation of associated sector reforms.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “Sustainable transport solutions bring environmental improvements and comfort to travellers. This is one of our strategic priorities across our countries of operations, including Kazakhstan. Today’s signing is yet another example of the results that can be achieved with the right projects.”

To date, the EBRD has invested over €7.5 billion through 246 projects in the economy of Kazakhstan. Private sector support and diversification are among the Bank’s priorities in the country.

Sergey Kwan