The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has extended 243.5 million euros (US$275.4 million) in financing to Kazakhstan natural gas company KazTransGas to help it through the Covid-19 crisis by securing an uninterrupted supply of natural gas to households across the country.
In addition, the loan will contribute to the national green economy strategy adopted in 2013 and designed to move the power sector away from its current dependence on coal. The increased use of natural gas in the country is part of the transition process from a fossil fuel-dependent energy sector to a regional leader in renewable energy.
The EBRD package will consist of a 100 million euro working-capital loan, denominated in Kazakh tenge, and a 115.8 million euro-equivalent balance-sheet restructuring loan to the KazTransGas subsidiary Intergas Central, the unit responsible for the operation and maintenance of gas transportation networks in Kazakhstan.
Up to 27.7 million euros of the loan will be used for balance-sheet restructuring of the subsidiary KazTransGas Aimak (KTGA), the largest natural gas supply, distribution and operation company present in 10 of Kazakhstan's 14 regions.
The EBRD financing will enable the subsidiaries of KazTransGas to improve their environmental footprint by allowing them to develop and implement a programme to reduce fugitive methane emissions and carbon intensity in support of Kazakhstan’s green economy strategy.
As part of the project, and with EBRD’s support, KTGA will develop and implement a corporate governance action plan, which will contribute to further commercialization, greater efficiency, and institutional strengthening.
The EBRD says it expects the entirety of its global 2020-2021 investments of up to 21 billion euros to be dedicated to the response to, and the recovery from, the Covid-19 pandemic. The development bank has to date invested 8.63 billion euros in 273 projects in Kazakhstan.