Kazakhstan’s Transportation Minister, Marat Karabayev, announced that transit traffic passing through the country is projected to reach 35 million tons by 2029. This statement was made during a government meeting in Astana, as reported by the Prime Minister’s press service on November 21.
To achieve the projected increase in transit traffic, the Ministry of Transportation plans various measures. These include enhancing border point capacities, upgrading mainline railways, building new tracks and repairing existing ones, revising tariff policies, and renewing passenger cars.
Minister Karabayev highlighted the focus on transit transportation in response to the President’s directive to develop the country’s transport potential. Container transportation notably rose by 29% in 2022 compared to 2020 and is maintaining a 15% growth rate this year.
Main transit routes are directed toward China and Russia, yet the primary goal is to optimize Kazakhstan’s transit routes, bolster their appeal, and establish suitable infrastructure to meet both national and international transit demands.
The minister highlighted Kazakhstan’s favorable geographical location for transit potential development. In the initial ten months, freight crossing Kazakhstan’s borders surged by 19%, reaching 22.5 million tons.
Container transport saw a 15% rise during this period. Rail freight specifically increased by 3%, totaling 246 million tons, aiming to reach 300 million tons by the year’s end in 2023.
Karabayev mentioned a substantial rise in cargo volume from China to Europe passing through Kazakhstan, with China contributing 27% of the country’s transit traffic, equivalent to 6.2 million tons.
The minister stated that the majority of Kazakhstan’s 27 railway border crossings are functioning at full capacity. Specifically, he mentioned that the technical capabilities of stations such as Dostyk, Altynkol, and Saryagash, serving routes to China and various Central Asian nations, are anticipated to be fully utilized by the year’s end.
Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov emphasized the pivotal role of the railway system in both Kazakhstan’s transportation sector and its economy. He noted the country’s central geographic position, serving as a hub for various international transport routes.
Highlighting the growth in transit transportation between Asia and Europe passing through Kazakhstan, Smailov highlighted that last year’s rail freight traffic between Kazakhstan and China exceeded 23 million tons. Additionally, he mentioned that this year witnessed a further 22% increase in this figure.
Smailov stressed the importance of systematic infrastructure development and updating rolling stock due to the rapid rise in transit volumes. He outlined plans for constructing new railroad branches spanning over 1,000 kilometers in the next three years.
These include projects such as Dostyk-Moyinty, Bakhty-Ayagoz, and the Almaty bypass line. Additionally, Smailov mentioned the imminent initiation of construction for the Darbaza-Maktaaral section, set to begin this week.