On 12-13 October 2022, the Secretary-General of the Energy Charter Secretariat, Mr Guy Lentz, paid an official visit to Kazakhstan, Astana, to meet with high-level officials of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
On the first day of the visit, a working group meeting with members of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, senior officials of relevant ministries and departments, and representatives of national companies was organised by the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan. The parties discussed the results of the Energy Charter Treaty's modernisation process, the unique role of Kazakhstan in the negotiation process, the compliance of the modernised treaty with the Paris agreement and the importance of attracting renewable energy investments in Kazakhstan and other countries. All participants of the meeting noted the peculiarities of the development of Kazakhstan's energy sector, which plays a key role in the country's economy. The work of the Energy Charter Secretariat on the Energy Investment Risk Assessment (EIRA) publications and the changes in the scope and EIRA methodology this year were presented to the delegates. The discussion focussed on the progress made by Kazakhstan in four years of participation in the project, and the possibility of conducting an extended profile of the EIRA of Kazakhstan.
On the second day, the Energy Charter's Secretary-General held several bilateral meetings with high-level officials of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
At the meeting with H.E. Mr Abzal Abdikarimov, Vice-Minister of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the parties discussed the current international energy landscape in the ECT member countries, energy transition and security, and Kazakhstan’s approaches to decarbonisation in light of the significant presence of fossil fuels in its energy balance. The Vice-Minister briefed the Secretary-General on the plans to build a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan by 2032, and Kazakhstan’s approach to changing electricity tariffs methodology by the end of the current year. The Vice-Minister was briefed on the results of the modernisation process of the ECT.
The second meeting took place with H.E. Mr Bolat Akchulakov, the Minister of Energy responsible for representing the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Energy Charter. The discussion primarily focused on the current situation with the energy sector in certain parts of the globe, investment protection issues, and the potential approaches of Kazakhstan to the decarbonisation process, including the Carbon Neutrality Doctrine of Kazakhstan by 2060, given that Kazakhstan is one of the major exporters of hydrocarbon raw materials, as well as some dependence of the energy sector on coal in specific regions. The parties discussed the results of the process of modernisation of the ECT and issues of the forthcoming ratification of the modernised Treaty. The Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan was also informed about the work of the Energy Charter Secretariat on EIRA reports and changes in the scope and EIRA methodology this year. The Minister of Energy was also familiarised with the proposal of the Energy Charter Secretariat on the possibility of conducting an extended profile of the EIRA of Kazakhstan. The parties confirmed their intentions for long-term cooperation between the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Energy Charter Secretariat.
The meeting with H.E. Ms Akerke Akhmetova, the Vice-Minister of Justice, concentrated mainly on the particularities of the arbitration cases Kazakhstan faced based on ECT and BITs, the results of the modernisation process of the ECT, and Kazakhstan’s views on certain areas thereof. The Vice-Minister was also briefed on the forthcoming ratification process of the modernised Treaty.
Secretary General's interview to Kazakh News Channel “Khabar 24”