ASTANA -- Kazakhstan has begun negotiations with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for funding the construction of the Saryarka natural gas pipeline, which aims at bringing gas to Astana, Kazinform reported.
Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev made the announcement Tuesday (February 13) at a cabinet meeting.
The project, if approved, would allow the conversion to natural gas in Astana of various coal-burning facilities: 192 boilers (for heating entire privately owned buildings), 48 boilers for heating small communal apartment buildings, 22,000 private households that rely on coal-based heating, and the CHP-1 and CHP-3 power plants, said the minister.
The project will help improve the environmental situation in Astana, reducing emissions by 35,000 tonnes per year. It will also facilitate infrastructure development and the creation of new natural gas-burning factories, said Bozumbayev.
A working group made up of representatives from the National Economy and Finance ministries, the Samruk-Kazyna sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company, KazMunaiGas and the Astana city administration is determining how to implement the project, he said.
The project's goal is to provide surplus hydro-electric power from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan during the summer months.
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