Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister for Investment and Development Roman SKLYAR:
650 BILLION TENGE IN INVESTMENTS WILL BE REQUIRED UNTIL 2030 FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ALMATY FIRST SATELLITE CITY - GATE CITY
The first satellite city of Almaty – the Gate City is to be built before 2030. The amount of investments, according to the newly revised feasibility study, will be 650 billion tenge (315.43 tenge /$1). Roman SKLYAR, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister for Investment and Development, has talked to Interfax-Kazakhstan about the stage at which the G4 City project is being implemented, the interest of investors and the amount of investments to be put in by the state.
- Please, tell us about the tempo of construction of Almaty G4 satellite cities?
- Currently, the Gate Satellite City compound is actually provided with engineering and communication infrastructure. In general, the first phase of the construction of water, gas supply and electricity transmission facilities was completed. The construction of the first road infrastructure start-up complex is underway, works are outlined for transport and communication corridor arrangements to be followed by engineering networks, the construction of a 200 Gcal / h boiler house is nearing completion. The design and estimate documentation for the construction of sewerage networks is worked out that envisages dumping 16.8 million cubic meters of sewage into Almaty treatment facilities.
It is proposed to consider the possibility of building the satellite cities - the Golden City, Growing City and Green City withing the forecast period beyond 2030.
The implementation of the investment project Construction of Almaty Four (G4 City) Satellite Cities in Almaty region is ongoing as part of the program Development of the Regions until 2020. The aim of the construction of the four satellite cities is the creation of a technologically integrated economic system in the northern part of the Almaty metropolitan area consisting of residential and working zones thereby improving existing ecological balance, mitigating an anthropogenic impact on the Almaty city system and forming the northern counter migration zone to stem migration flows to the Almaty agglomeration.
The revised feasibility study was approved by the decision of the Almaty regional maslikhat (a local representative body) dated May 12, 2016, according to which, the construction of the first satellite city – the Gate City- is scheduled within the defined timeframe (until 2030) with the facilities of: transport service to regulate domestic and international passenger and freight traffic; industrial purpose as part of industrial zones and cluster complexes; of housing and civil purpose including administrative, business and public area complexes.
In accordance with the project new feasibility study, as for the first satellite city the investment totals 650 billion tenge until 2030, including 206 billion tenge in government investments, 444 billion tenge in private investments.
- How much have the construction conditions changed since the project implementation?
- Since the beginning of the project based on the national development programs significant changes in the socio-economic environment of the Almaty region have taken place, namely: the Almaty city territory and population have increased, a railroad from Zhetygen to Khorgos has been built, the construction of a bypass railroad from Zhetygen to Kazybek-bek planned, the construction of the Western Europe-Western China Highway, of a motor road from Almaty to Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk), of the Almaty Ring Road (BAKAD) is under way, a project to create the special economic zone Khorgos- the Eastern Gate and the construction of the cross-border cooperation international center Khorgos are ongoing, the Almaty subway has been functioning, its second phase is actually designed to advance towards the first satellite city- the Gate City, the construction of an international airport has been under scrutiny.
All this required the project update in terms of adjusting the design solutions taking into account the changed socio-economic situation in the region. At the government level it was decided to review benchmarks within the framework of the project revised feasibility study and to bring it into conformity with the interregional scheme of the territorial development of the Almaty metropolitan area.
In the period scheduled for until 2030 the project revised feasibility study envisages focusing efforts on the construction of the first satellite city given that to date the construction of utility services at the expense of government investment has been carried out only within this city. The population of the Gate City would be 60,000 people in accordance with the interregional scheme of the Almaty agglomeration territorial development.
- How much funding has been allocated from the republican budget since beginning the construction?
- The project implementation started in 2008 on the initiative of JSC Caspian Group. During the period from 2008 to 2015, 31.4 billion tenge was allocated for the project, including 3.08 billion tenge in 2015.
Over the implementation period topographical and geodetic surveys have been made, master plans of satellite cities devised and approved, the concept for the development of engineering infrastructure developed given energy saving technologies, feasibility studies into engineering networks and facilities, road infrastructure, the construction of engineering infrastructure facilities have been under way.
Starting since 2013, the construction of engineering and communication infrastructure has been carried out through the authorized organization of the Almaty region - JSC Alatau.
Given the current economic situation, as well as in connection with the announced moratorium on new projects, the project was not funded from the republican budget in 2016.
After First Deputy Prime Minister Askar Mamin’s business trip the sectoral ministries were instructed to consider the possibility of providing 5.8 billion tenge this year in order to complete the construction of the first stage of the first satellite city heat supply networks and sewerage systems.
- Are investors from which countries interested in participating in the project implementation?
- The project attracts the interest among a wide range of investors from China, Turkey, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and the Kazakh business community, following meetings with whom a number of protocols and memoranda were signed in Almaty and Taldykorgan defining the main areas of cooperation. At the same time, the conclusion of specific contracts is being slowed, in most cases, by demands from potential investors to get government guarantees to secure funds borrowed in foreign currencies.
Nevertheless, in 2016, contracts were concluded with investors from China and Turkey in the field of housing construction on the terms of the then government programs on affordable housing effective at the time. Given that these terms have undergone some changes in connection with the adoption of the new housing construction program Nurly Zher currently the adaptation of content of the concluded agreements to them is ongoing. Thus, the urban development of the first satellite city is to start with the development of the industrial zone and housing construction under the program Nurly Zher.
- It was planned to create Free Economic Zone (FEZ) Zhana Almaty on the territory of Almaty four satellite cities. What is the deadline for this goal?
- Given the current economic situation and planned adjustment of Almaty's master plan, the construction of the three satellite cities (the Golden City, Growing City and Green City) is planned after 2030. Thus, the plans to create FEZ Zhana Almaty on the territory of the third satellite city – the Growing City - are also pushed further beyond the scheduled period. It should also be noted that the FEZ Khorgos-Eastern Gate has been set up in Almaty region and since 2012 a large amount of investment has been allocated for its development.
Taking into account regional specialization, developed transport infrastructure, labor resources, production and consumption in the Almaty agglomeration, the project envisages developing the agro-industrial zone on the territory of the first satellite city – the Gate City, providing jobs for the satellite city population and populations in other settlements along the northern axis of the Almaty agglomeration. It is proposed to define crops production and processing and associated technological production cycles as a priority.
- Thank you for the interview!
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