IsDB Co-Financed Almaty Great Ring Road Inaugurated, Driving Regional Connectivity and Economic Growth

Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan, 21 June 2023 – The Almaty Great Ring Road (BAKAD) was officially inaugurated in the presence of dignitaries including H.E. Mr. Marat Karabaev, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan; H.E. Mr. Erbolat Dosaev, Mayor of Almaty City; and H.E. Mr. Marat Sultangaziev, Governor of Almaty Region. Representatives from the international co-financiers of the project, namely the Islamic Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Eurasian Development Bank, were also present.

Addressing attendees at the launching ceremony, Mr. Ibrahim Shoukry, Head of IsDB Regional Hub Almaty, expressed the IsDB Group's commitment to supporting the country's national priority projects in transport, energy, and agriculture infrastructure. He emphasized that these interventions are expected to enhance domestic and cross-border connectivity, improve logistics, remove inefficiencies in customs and border clearance, stimulate the energy market, reduce transaction costs, and enhance the quality of trade, thereby creating investment opportunities for Kazakhstan.

The Almaty Great Ring Road Project, one of IsDB's largest public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the Central Asian region, aims to drive the economic development of Almaty city and the surrounding region. It will further integrate them with international transport arteries, including the "Khorgos-Almaty-Bishkek-Taraz-Shymkent-Tashkent" corridor, also known as the "Silk Road," and the "Almaty - Karaganda –Astana –Petropavlovsk" route. Moreover, the ring road will establish a bypass for commercial vehicles along the "Western China – Western Europe" transnational highway, which has experienced substantial traffic growth due to China's "One-Belt One Road" initiative.

This strategic regional project aligns with the IsDB Group's Realigned Strategy for 2023-2025, focusing on developing green, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure, as well as supporting inclusive human capital development through various projects and capacity development initiatives. The construction of the ring road will not only divert a significant portion of transit traffic away from Almaty but also contribute to improving the environmental conditions in the city and suburban areas.

Spanning a total length of 66 kilometers, the ring road features four lanes in the first and last sections (9km) and six lanes in all other sections (57km). It comprises seven interchanges on the main road, along with 44 bridges and overpasses, and 110 culverts. The construction phase involved over 2,000 personnel, employing more than 600 units of special equipment, four asphalt concrete plants, two concrete plants, and two crushing plants.

In line with its objectives, the IsDB Group will streamline its interventions to facilitate the implementation of national developmental plans and priorities in order to overcome prevailing challenges and harness the vast potential of the region. The bypass connection created by the ring road will enable the development of multimodal transport and logistics centers along its route, stimulating the economy and attracting trade flows from the Central Asian region.

BAKAD stands as one of the largest PPP projects in Kazakhstan and the wider Central Asian region, with a total project cost of US$743 million. Islamic Development Bank's financing contribution amounted to US$100 million.