The Kazakhstan Moinak electricity transmission project, in conjunction with the Moinak hydro plant, is a key part of the Government’s strategy to reduce the electricity shortage in the Almaty region, where in the last decade vigorous economic growth has greatly increased the demand for electricity. The resulting electricity shortage, particularly in the winter period when the need is greatest, has triggered restrictions on electricity consumption, hurting the economy and the population.

“Kazakhstan’s economic growth, together with rising incomes, has fuelled an increasing demand for electricity. Following recovery from the current economic slowdown, electricity demand in southern Kazakhstan is expected to increase by nearly 6% per year till 2020,” said Sergei Shatalov, World Bank Country Manager in Kazakhstan. “Existing and prospective energy shortages in the region are a barrier to both economic growth and human development. By addressing these shortages, the project will help to ensure improved employment, incomes, and standard of living.

“The World Bank has had a decade-long fruitful collaboration with Kazakhstan to support its efforts of modernization and expansion of the country’s massive electricity transmission network, and ensure that it meets the needs of the country’s rapidly developing economy,” said Istvan Dobozi, Lead Energy Economist of the World Bank and leader of the Bank’s transmission program. “This is the third World Bank-supported electricity transmission project in Kazakhstan, and a fourth one − the “Alma” Transmission Project − is under preparation. The project was prepared in 10 months, which is much less than the average project-processing time in Kazakhstan, in order to ensure that this strategically important project can be completed on schedule in 2011.”

The Project, with a total cost of US$74M, consists of the construction of 220kV transmission lines from the Moinak plant to the Shelek and Robot substations, as well as the modernization of the Shelek and Robot substations, and consulting and technical services. The World Bank loan has a maturity of 25 years with a five-year grace period.

The loan is guaranteed by the Republic of Kazakhstan.