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The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and Kazkommertsbank (KKB) have signed a guarantee agreement to support lending to energy efficiency projects in Kazakhstan. Under the terms of agreement with Kazkommertsbank, USAid will provide a 50% guarantee to a loan portfolio totaling US$15mn over a seven-year period, reducing risk to KKB, to promote energy efficiency projects.

“KKB intends to start lending projects aimed at both promotion of efficient work of the energy sector itself and level of energy efficiency at enterprises,” KKB managing director Magzhan Auezov says.

George Deikun, USAid Mission Director for Central Asia, explains USAid’s decision to choose KKB because the bank met “many criteria of the programme”. He specifies that the issue is about “level of financial stability of KKB that ensures reducing risks when lending and demonstrates bank’s ability to efficiently implement the programme”.

Commenting on the deal, US ambassador to Kazakhstan, John Ordway, indicates that performance of the programme will enable to mobilise private capital and ensure lending of enterprises in solving questions of energy efficiency that in his opinion currently is improperly solved by corresponding bodies in the republic.

KKB is the largest bank in Kazakhstan. Created in 1990, KKB has branches in all business centres of the republic. The EBRD holds a 15% shareholding.