Entrepreneurs from the North Kazakhstan region receive UNDP grant for the production of environmentally friendly briquettes

November 16, 2023

Saumalkol village, North Kazakhstan.

Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Azamat Zhanturin

Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, two enterprises from the North Kazakhstan region have been awarded a grant to produce biomass briquettes. This UNDP initiative aims to introduce cleaner, alternative fuels to progressively displace coal and incorporates a gender and social dimension, aiming to enhance women's access to energy resources.

"Despite their important roles in climate action, women are often left out of climate policy and action. without women’s full and effective participation and leadership for climate action, across all contexts, a just transition to net zero is impossible,"
said Sukhrob Khojimatov, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kazakhstan.

The beneficiaries, Asia Wood's LLP and IE Zhakupov, intend to manufacture fuel briquettes from wood processing and agricultural waste. Furthermore, following the establishment of production lines, they plan to distribute a minimum of 50 tons of fuel briquettes to socially vulnerable population. The UNDP grants will cover part of the costs for purchasing and installing the required equipment.

Annually, Kazakhstan consumes approximately 11.3 million tons of coal for municipal needs. The utilization of solid fuels contributes to the emissions of heavy metals and greenhouse gases. Transitioning to fuel briquettes could significantly reduce these emissions.

The use of agricultural waste as biomass presents an alternative heating technology. Biomass briquettes offer several benefits: they release no pollutants when burned, produce minimal smoke, and the ash content is significantly lower than that of coal. Given the available supply of grain straw and the development of wood processing, Kazakhstan has a large raw material base for such production.

"In Northern and Eastern Kazakhstan there is a sufficient amount of waste from agriculture and wood processing. Considering the existing potential for fuel briquette production in Kazakhstan, we must focus on the social and environmental benefits of developing this sector. Kazakhstan has all the necessary prerequisites for biofuel production,"
said Yerken Naurzbekov, Managing Director - Director of the Department of the Agro-Industrial Complex and Food Industry, NCE RK "Atameken".