KTZ container train

KAZAKHSTAN: The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development is investing up to 50bn tenge to support national railway KTZ in the implementation of crisis response measures to cope with the after-effects of the pandemic and ‘ongoing geopolitical turmoil’.

Measures include the reorganisation of transit freight operations and modernisation of key infrastructure along the KTZ’s section of the Middle Corridor.

EBRD said that until recently, up to 95% of rail freight traffic between China and the EU used the Northern Corridor through Russia.

However, international companies are seeking alternatives following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and this has increased demand for transport on the Middle Corridor which runs from China through Kazakhstan, across the Caspian Sea and then through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Europe.

‘By investing in the local bond issue of Kazakhstan Railways, EBRD is improving the sustainability of a major domestic company’, said Huseyin Ozhan, EBRD’s Head of Kazakhstan, on July 25. ‘It is also contributing to better regional and international connectivity and trade security, as the Middle Corridor offers one of the few realistic alternatives for China - Europe rail freight.’