Uskenbayev: Kazakhstan's Transport Industry Shows Positive Dynamics


The Government meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, has considered the development of Kazakhstan's transit and transport potential.

Presentations were made by Kairbek Uskenbayev, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development of Kazakhstan, and Nurlan Sauranbayev, Chairman of the Board of JSC NC KTZ.

Currently, the transport industry in Kazakhstan is showing positive dynamics. In January — February 2022 the volume of cargo transported by rail increased by 10% compared to the previous year and amounted to 70.8 million tons; the volume of transit cargo rose by 20% to 4 million tons and the volume of container freight increased by 12% with an index of 174.7 thousand TEU.

Key growth indicators are defined in the national program Strong Regions — Drivers of National Development. By 2025 it is planned to increase the volume of transit traffic to 30 million tons.

To achieve this goal, the Ministry is taking measures to build railway infrastructure, upgrade rolling stock, containerize cargo, develop alternative routes, and develop international corridors.

Three key infrastructure projects have been initiated by KTZ to increase capacity with China:

  1. construction of the second track on the Dostyk — Moyinty section;

  2. construction of a bypass line around Almaty;

  3. construction of the Darbaza — Maktaaral railway line.

This year KTZ plans to purchase 1.5 thousand freight cars. The Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development also suggests introducing rewards for the purchase of electric locomotives (ALSTOM) and diesel-powered locomotives (LCZ GE) produced in Kazakhstan.

A need and opportunities analysis has been carried out to increase containerization. In the first phase, the plan is to containerize 2 million tonnes of cargo and produce up to 10 thousand containers annually. The Ministry has worked out alternative routes and corridors for the export and transit cargo transportation. Prompt measures have been taken to prevent the rupture of cargo supply chains. An agreement was reached with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to establish a Joint Venture on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

To improve the competitiveness of Kazakh carriers, work is under way to increase the number of vehicle fleet from 7,615 to 15,000 units by 2025. For these purposes in the period from 2023 to 2028 Euro-5 tractor units will be exempt from the initial registration and recycling fee.

In general, all transport corridors are operating at full capacity. Some sections are undergoing revamping, which is expected to be completed in 2030.

In 2021, container transit through the territory of Kazakhstan along all corridors increased 4.3 times compared to 2016 (from 245,000 to 1,066,000 TEU). According to international consultants, the potential for container transit through Kazakhstan is 5-8% of the container flow between China/Southeast Asia and Europe.

In 2021, operational cargo turnover was 239.3 billion tonnes/km, which became the historical maximum for the years of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Transit reached 39.6 billion tons/km (21 million tons). Transit growth was 2% compared to 2020. The total income amounted to 120.6 billion tenge, which is 7.4 times higher than the actual income in 2020. The average salary of KTZ employees for February 2022 amounted to 273 thousand tenge, which is 41.5% more than the same period last year.

It is also worth noting that within the EU’s low-carbon strategy, rail transport has a key role to play, as one of its benefits is environmental friendliness and energy efficiency.

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