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Projects financed by the EDB

The purchase and operation of a fleet to support offshore oil and gas operations in the Caspian Sea

The development of offshore mineral production in the Caspian Sea is an economic priority for the government of Kazakhstan. The country’s prosperity depends, to a large extent, on how this development is accomplished. The development potential of this important area will make a significant contribution to the country’s socioeconomic advancement and modernisation.

There is an expectation that proven hydrocarbon reserves and hydrocarbon production (Kazakhstan’s main exports) in the Caspian Sea will increase. The identified hydrocarbon reserves in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea will allow oil production to be increased to 100 million tons per year and be maintained at that level for 25-30 years.

However, this huge undertaking is predicated upon the development and improvement of onshore engineering and sea transport infrastructures, including the construction of facilities for offshore petroleum operations (exploration, drilling, production and transportation) and improvements in the shipping fleet and sea ports.

A distinct feature of Kazakhstan’s sector of the Caspian Sea is its shallowness. This makes it easier to develop new hydrocarbon fields at reduced cost since there is no need to build standalone offshore platforms. The shallow sea also affects the infrastructure needed — there appear to be opportunities to build artificial islands on which the production facilities can be located.

Expanding operations in the Caspian will require a large auxiliary and specialist fleet of ships.

In response to these requirements, in November 2008 the EDB lent its support to a project in Kazakhstan’s Mangistau region to step up the development of the large hydrocarbon deposits in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. The Bank signed a loan agreement with OMS SHIPPING LLP to finance the purchase of a fleet to support offshore operations. Financing was provided as a ten-year non-revolving credit facility for a total of US $ 35.6 m.

As part of the project, OMS SHIPPING will purchase 16 auxiliary and specialised vessels (barges and tugboats) to transport bulk cargoes, including rocks for building artificial islands in the Caspian Sea.

This innovative project will drive forward Kazakhstan’s sustainable economic growth by improving oil sector services and infrastructure in the Caspian region and by developing sea transport.

Tax revenues in Kazakhstan will total US $ 40.5 m over the 15-year project period.

Eight vessels (four 3,640-ton sea barges and four 2,000-ton barges) were built in Russia at the Nevsky Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Plant in the Leningrad region and the Lotos Shipbuilding Plant in Narimanov, Astrakhan region.

Eight barges are currently in use. Three tugboats were supplied in 2011. Five more tugboats being built by Astrakhan Shipbuilding Production Association were supplied in 2012.

EDB Member States

  • Russian Federation


  • Republic of Kazakhstan

    of Kazakhstan

  • Republic of Armenia

    of Armenia

  • Republic of Tajikistan

    of Tajikistan

  • Republic of Belarus

    of Belarus

  • Kyrgyz Republic