The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting regional development in Kazakhstan with a new project to improve public transport in a provincial center. Up to 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses are to be procured together with supporting infrastructure.
The loan of up to US $18.8 million has been given to Avtobusnyi Park Kyzylorda, a municipal public transport company in the Kazakh city of Kyzylorda. The company is wholly owned by JSC NK SPK Baikonur, a development corporation wholly owned by the administration of the Kyzylorda region. The loan is provided for purchasing of up to 100 “green” buses that run on CNG, the depot workshop equipment, and GPS dispatching system.
The city of Kyzylorda is the center of the Kyzylorda region located in the south of the country. This investment reflects several of the EBRD’s priorities: to support regional development in Kazakhstan outside of the major cities of Astana and Almaty, to introduce efficient urban transport management system and to achieve the green economy goals set by the country.
“Our citizens deserve better urban transport services,” said Krymbek Kusherbayev, the Akim (governor) of the Kyzylorda region. “Today the local authorities and SPK Baikonur are pleased to receive EBRD support in establishing CNG bus fleet and the depot in Kyzylorda. Around one fifth of the city public transport fleet will be replaced with new modern comfortable buses to service up to 40 percent of passengers. This project is also Kyzylorda region’s contribution to the development of ‘green’ economy. We are looking forward to working together with the EBRD on more projects in the region.”
“The EBRD’s investment will enable Kyzylorda not only to buy modern energy efficient CNG buses which will make the air in the streets much cleaner, but also to consolidate different bus operators into an integrated public transport system, to establish a proper bus depot and to develop a modern bus ticketing system,” said Janet Heckman, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan.
The CNG bus purchase program in Kyzylorda follows a successful and ongoing cooperation between the EBRD and the municipality of Almaty where the bank has supported several projects involving CNG buses and energy efficient trolleybuses.
To date, the EBRD has invested about €5 billion (US$ 6.6 billion) across more than 160 different projects in Kazakhstan, mobilising an additional €7 billion (US$ 9.3 billion) for these projects from other sources of financing.