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EBRD pledges senior loan of €9.5mn equivalent to major Kazakh electricity distributor

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is pledging a senior loan worth an equivalent of €9.5mn to improve the financial sustainability of a major electricity distributor in western Kazakhstan, the Mangistau Regional Distribution Company (MREK). 

The financing will help MREK, which operates 500 supply transformer substations and a network of over 5,000 km of electricity lines, to increase its resilience to future foreign-exchange risks, restructure its balance sheet and boost its preparedness against the macroeconomic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MREK has committed to implementing inclusive educational programmes for youth and women in Mangistau Region. Professional training programmes are set to be developed together with a local university to provide young men and women with the skills needed to succeed in the energy sector.

“The financing will ensure that MREK can continue to implement its strategic development objectives, including the integration of renewables into Kazakhstan’s grid ‒ a goal set in 2018 in the context of the utility’s first project with the EBRD. The loan will also support the utility’s current investment programme to 2025,” an EBRD statement said.

The EBRD has invested over $8.4bn in Kazakhstan to date.