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Kazakhstan steppes hold untapped biomass residue resources

The Republic of Kazakhstan is hosting Expo 2017, an international exposition that is currently taking place from June 10 and September 10 in the capital, Astana. The Expo's theme is "Future Energy", and aims to create a global debate between countries, non-governmental organisations (NGO's), companies and the general public on the issue of "safe and sustainable access to energy for all" while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

HE Azamat Sarsembayev (centre) Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Sweden for bioenergy talks with World Bioenergy Association (WBA) Karin Haara, Executive Director (left) and Remigijus Lapinskas, President at WBA’s offices in Stockholm (photo Anders Haaker).

On June 13, the World Bioenergy Association (WBA) through its President Remigijus Lapinskas and Executive Director Karin Haara hosted HE Azamat Sarsembayev, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Kingdom of Sweden at WBA’s headquarters in Stockholm for a briefing on WBA activities in general and a trade mission to Kazakhstan in particular.

Minister Sarsembayev explained that while 12 percent of electricity production in Kazakhstan is from hydro only 1 percent is from the other renewable sources wind, solar and biomass combined. The remaining 87 percent is fossil-based. However, according to Sarsembayev, the state’s Green economy” concept forecasts expansion of electricity production from renewables to 3 percent in 2020, 10 percent in 2030 and 50 percent in 2050.

According to Lapinskas, although Kazakhstan is still a “white spot” on WBA’s map, the country is a well-known global grain producer and exporter and as such would have ample potential to develop bioenergy using the agriculture residues such as straw. The preconditions exist as every year millions of tonnes of straw remain unutilised in the enormous Kazakhstan steppes where grain has been grown since the 1960’s.

The Parties agreed to investigate the possibility of organising a trade mission to Kazakhstan in September to coincide with the Kazenergy Eurasian Forum as part of the Expo 2017 event.

About BIE Expo's

France-headed Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is an Intergovernmental Organisation with 170 Member States in charge of overseeing and regulating all international exhibitions that last more than three weeks and are of non-commercial nature so-called “Expos”. Today, four main types of Expos are organised under its auspices: World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.

An Expo is a world “super” event for any host nation with a unique PR opportunity for national governments to showcase their achievements to the world and for economic development and co-operation. An Expo is also an extraordinary opportunity for corporate participants to develop a culture of educated and discerning consumers and a unique occasion for the host nation to extend hospitality to the international community.

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