Kazakhstan wastewater treatment project gains funding

Atyrau oil refinery under a blue sky

EBRD loans $80m to upgrade facilities at Atyrau oil refinery.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced $80m of funding for an upgrade of wastewater treatment facilities at the Atyrau oil refinery in western Kazakhstan.

Close to the city’s edge, the facility has 860 hectares of evaporation ponds that are in need of renewal and upgrade alongside investment in new technologies and capacity to help reduce environmental impact. Once implemented, the project will increase water reuse in the region, which will help to reduce the drain on freshwater from the Ural River in a region that experiences low rainfall and long dry seasons.

The new treatment facilities will eventually lead to the full replacement of freshwater intake from the river at the plant, improve the quality of treated industrial wastewater and reduce odours associated with the refinery’s obsolete treatment facility and canals – something that will benefit around 300,000 residents. It will also be built to the highest international standards so as to also address air and soil pollution issues.

The EBRD loan will be provided to the Atyrau oil refinery, which is owned by KazMunayGas – Kazakhstan’s leading vertically integrated oil and gas company. It will secure a new 3.5km sewage pipeline alongside the wider upgrade and the refinery has also agreed to establish a specialised training programme at the local university to help hundreds of young men and women achieve careers in the sector through the project.