EBRD continues to support public transport reform in Kazakhstan
Dec 21. EBRD
By Sergiy Grytsenko
A new US$ 36 million loan to upgrade trolleybus fleet in Almaty.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is supporting the modernisation of public transport in Almaty with a US$ 36 million (€27 million) loan to KGP “Almatyelectrotrans”, a municipal public transport company.
The investment is part of the Bank’s wider approach to assist Kazakhstan’s largest city in reforming its urban transport system.
KGP “Almatyelectrotrans” (AET) is one of the 19 transport companies serving the city of Almaty, and it currently operates trams and trolleybuses and is planning to extend its activity by introducing bus services. The majority of the trolleybuses used for passenger transport in the city are out-dated and in poor technical condition.
The EBRD’s loan will be used to purchase 200 new low floor trolleybuses, helping AET to become a modern municipal transport operator. The project complements the Bank’s first two investments to AET signed in November 2009 and in October 2010 which focused on modernising Almaty’s trolleybus substations and on purchasing new buses.
“This latest investment is the EBRD’s six municipal service project in Kazakhstan. The EBRD shares Almaty’s strong determination to reform the city’s public transport system. With the Bank’s support, over 2012-2013 the municipal authorities will be able to replace more than hundred old and worn-out trolleybuses with new modern vehicles increasing the city’s fleet to 250 trolleybuses and providing passengers with better and more reliable services,” said Michael Weinstein, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan.
The new 13-year loan to AET is just the latest in a series of planned EBRD investments aimed at supporting the reform of the public transport system in Almaty. With the support of considerable technical assistance grants, the EBRD is planning to help the municipality to improve sector’s regulatory framework, to acquire new modern trolleybuses, to develop a high capacity light rail transport network in Almaty and to introduce an integrated electronic ticketing system.
The EBRD, as the largest financial investor in Kazakhstan outside the oil and gas sector, has invested over €2.8 billion in over 130 projects in various sectors of the Kazakh economy, mobilising additional investments in excess of about €7 billion, with 65 per cent of the projects’ being investments into the development of the country’s private sector.