5 Dec 2023 14:11

Kazakhstan plans to triple capacity of Eastern Branch in North-South corridor

ASTANA. Dec 5 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan plans to triple the capacity of the Eastern Branch of the North-South International Transport Corridor from the current six million tonnes to 20 million tonnes, the government said in a statement.

The plans were discussed during the ninth meeting of the operational working group on cross-border hubs, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin.

"Enhancing the North-South international corridor's capacity between 2023 and 2025 involves extending tracks at Iletsk-1 station and installing second tracks with automatic blocking on the 213 km Orsk-Kandyagash section to double receiving trains from the Russian Federation, increasing from 7 to 15 pairs per day," the government said.

Subsequent stages include the construction of four sidings on the Makat-Shubarkudyk section and three sidings on Mangyshlak-Uzen, incorporating automatic blocking. There are also plans to add second tracks to various sections, including Iletsk-1-Aktobe (195 km), Kandyagash-Kigash (808 km), Shalkar-Beineu (496 km), Beineu-Mangystau-Aktau Port, Kuryk-Port (490 km), and Uzen-Bolashak (147 km).

"All these efforts will help increase the volume of cargo transportation via the North-South corridor from six [million tonnes] to 20 million tonnes per year," the government said.

No specific deadline has been set for achieving the goal.

The government has also initiated a project for a container hub at the Aktau Seaport special economic zone (SEZ). Work is underway on infrastructure and a power plant. Zhumangarin directed the development of a comprehensive concept for the Caspian hub by year-end.

Initiatives are in progress to accelerate the completion of infrastructure for the Eurasia Cross-Border Trade Center and the Ala-Tau industrial trade and logistics complex. The management company for the Ala-Tau industrial zone will be selected through a tender process.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has previously set a target of increasing the North-South route's capacity to 15 million tonnes by 2027.