The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a loan of KZT98bn ($214m) to Almaty Electric Stations, which is wholly owned by Samruk Energy, for upgrading a coal-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) in the city of Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The loan will be used to upgrade the Almaty Electric Stations CHP Plant 2 with combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) units.

ADB private sector operations director general Suzanne Gaboury stated: “Kazakh winters are long and cold and the heating season lasts for more than half the year.

“Replacing this coal-fired facility will deliver significant environmental and health benefits to the people of Almaty while addressing their needs for heating. Kazakhstan urgently needs decarbonisation, and ADB financing will assist the country in achieving this transition.”

The upgrade will improve the fuel efficiency of the power plant by more than 20% as well as significantly reduce the power plant’s carbon emissions levels.

The CCGT units will also improve the city’s overall air quality and provide heating for its residents during the winter.

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The project will also serve as secondary reserve generation capacity, helping to balance the intermittency of renewable energy generation and manage peak loads.

The project is part of the Green Kazakhstan 2021–2025 national project, and will help the country’s power system operator to integrate more renewable energy into the country’s power mix and support climate targets set by the government.

In February 2023, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev approved a long-term decarbonisation strategy, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.