ADB approves £136m loan to enhance road network in Kazakhstan

WCN Editorial Team 1 Oct 2019 ASIA TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan worth $167.02m (£135.8m) for a project to revamp and rebuild 89km of road between Aktobe and Kandyagash in Kazakhstan.

Upon completion, the project will connect major trade routes in Kazakhstan and is expected to improve the connectivity, trade activities, and road safety in the country.

KazAvtoZhol National Joint Stock Company (KazAvtoZhol), which is responsible for the planning, construction, operation, and maintenance of national highways of Kazakhstan, will receive the loan amount.

The project will include the reconstruction of all bridges, construction of two new bypasses of villages, enhancement of the connectivity between two corridors (1 and 6) of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC).

It will also involve the refurbishment of the existing two-lane highway connecting Aktobe to Kandyagash to a divided four-lane one equipped with climate-resilient features while constructing gender-sensitive service facilities.

According to ADB, road crashes in Kazakhstan cost about $2bn to $4bn per year, which was about 4% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2013. The bank said that bad road condition is also a contributing factor in road crashes, which need better road safety features and awareness.

ADB principal transport specialist Jiangbo Ning said: “Kazakhstan has a huge potential to become a major trading and transit hub in Central Asia, but the country’s transport sector, particularly its road network, needs to be upgraded and improved.

“A modern and functioning transport sector will help foster economic growth, enhance a country’s competitiveness, and provide a better quality of life to its people.”

The project is also expected to strengthen the institutional capacity of KazAvtoZhol by providing equipment, staffing, and training on financial management, procurement, project management, gender, and social safeguards management.

Earlier this month, ADB signed a $350m (£285m) loan agreement with the Government of India to rehabilitate and upgrade about 850km of state highways and major district roads in the state of Chhattisgarh.

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Image: ADB grants loan to rehabilitate and reconstruct road Kazakhstan. Photo: courtesy of Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay.

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