The Zhanatas wind power project broke ground in July 2019. Credit: Power Construction Corporation of China.
The wind farm will include 40 Envision 2.5MW turbines. Credit: Power Construction Corporation of China.
The project will generate 350 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. Credit: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The 100MW Zhanatas Wind Power Station in Kazakhstan is being developed by Zhanatas Wind-Power, a company jointly owned by China Power International Holding (CPIH, 80%) and Visor. The joint venture is responsible for the development, construction and operation of the wind farm.

One of the key projects of the China-Kazakhstan production capacity co-operation, the Zhanatas wind farm is the biggest wind project in Central Asia. It is estimated to produce 350 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year to meet the electricity demand of approximately one million households upon completion.

The power station is projected to save 109,500t of standard coal and cut emissions of CO₂ by 289,000t, ash by 32,900t, SO₂ by 1,031t, NOx by 934t, and smoke dust by 32t. It will also contribute to the development of the country’s power industry to provide enough power for domestic needs by 2020.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the project was held in July 2019, while partial operations were started in September 2020.

The wind power plant will employ 15 people for operation and maintenance.

Zhanatas wind farm location

The Zhanatas wind power station is located in the Zhanatas town of Sагysu district within the Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan.

The site is located approximately 9km south-west of Zhanatas town on 233.5ha of land, which is leased for 49 years.

Zhanatas wind farm details

The Zhanatas wind farm will comprise 40 Envision 2.5MW turbines arranged 0.5-0.65km from each other in two rows of 23 and nine turbines, and two clusters of four turbines each.

The 90m-high turbine towers will have 59.5m-long blades with ice formation prevention capability. The blades will rotate at an average speed of one turn per five seconds at wind speeds ranging between 3m/s and 20m/s. The turbines will be installed on elevated flanks of an eroded anticline on reinforced concrete foundations.

The turbines will be connected with 35kV overhead lines, which will run along a length of 26km and connect to the step-up transformers. From there, an 8.6km-long, 110kV overhead single-circuit line will run to the 110/35kV national grid substation along the existing road.

The power plant is planned to be a fully automatic operation, which will run for 20 years without any major repairs. It will be operated from a control room at the substation via supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

Infrastructure and construction works

Infrastructure at the site includes a container-type construction office, worker camp, and a booster station. Construction works include digging of foundation pits, installation of poles, laying of internal roads, and installation of turbines.

Financing for Zhanatas wind power project

The project is supported by a memorandum of understanding between Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The total investment in the project is estimated to be $160m, of which 70% is provided by a loan from a consortium of international financial institutions.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and its partners signed a $95.3m syndicated deal for the construction of the wind project. The funding will be used for the construction and operation of the wind power plant and the construction of the 110kV connecting line to the national grid.

EBRD will provide funding of up to $24.8m, while the remaining loan will be provided by AIIB ($34.4m), the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC, $13.3m), and the Green Climate Fund (GCF, $22.9m).

Contractors involved

The project is being constructed by PowerChina Chengdu Engineering, while PowerChina is serving as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor.