ASSISTING ROAD REHABILITATION PROJECT IN KAZAKHSTAN Signing of ODA Loan Agreement
1. JJapan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Hiroshi Yasuda) decided to extend a loan totaling up to 16,539 million yen for "Western Kazakhstan Road Network Rehabilitation Project" in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and signed today a loan agreement at the Head Office of JBIC in Tokyo. With this loan, the cumulative ODA loan approvals for the Republic of Kazakhstan number 4, totaling 67,427 million yen.
2. The loan is designed to provide funds for the civil works and consulting services that are necessary for rehabilitating the 950-km portion of the Western Kazakhstan Road, which stretches from Astana, the country's capital, to Atyrau, a city on the Caspian Sea coast.
3. The Western Kazakhstan Road, which is a main artery of the country, connects three major areas: the region along the Caspian Sea where a variety of oil and natural gas projects are proceeding, including a project to develop the country's largest oil field, Tengiz; the eastern region of Kazakhstan where capital Astana is located; and Russia. Naturally, it is regarded as one of the trunk roads of the country. However, due to poor construction work and wear and tear from the heavy traffic of overloaded vehicles, the paved surface of the road has deteriorated badly, and some segments are so bumpy that the drivers find it hard to maintain a proper speed, posing a problem for normal driving and transportation efficiency. Therefore, to ensure smooth freight traffic, rehabilitation work is urgently called for.
4. JBIC's loan commitment is expected to lead to more efficient road traffic not only between the country's eastern and western region but also between Kazakhstan and neighboring nations, thereby contributing to economic development of Kazakhstan.