By Anton Usov
Consumers in Kazakhstan will enjoy greater variety and wider availability of beverages offered by the popular local producer Caspian Beverage Holding (CBH) following the enlargement of its distribution network with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The sales expansion is expected to result in increased market share in Kazakhstan and improvements in operational efficiency across the company and its subsidiaries.
A five-year EBRD loan of up to US$ 4 million will help CBH procure refrigerators which are compliant with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) using a natural, non-toxic and ozone-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerant also known as R290. The funds will also be used to support CBH working capital needs, including the acquisition of beer kegs and other specialised equipment.
The project is supported by the EBRD through its agribusiness and SME development strategies, and included advisory interventions financed by the Government of Kazakhstan and the EBRD Special Shareholders Fund.
The introduction of new technology is supported by the Global Environment Facility under the EBRDs Resource Efficiency Transformation Programme (RESET) through a US$ 48,000 grant. They will help reduce annual CO2 emissions by nearly 620 tonnes and energy consumption by 40 per cent compared to existing units.
To date, the EBRD has invested €8.63 billion through 273 projects in the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Support of small businesses is particularly important as the country moves to reform its economy and strengthen its private sector.