National experts of Kazakhstan took part in the webinar “Experience of transition to the best available techniques in electric power industry: large combustion plants”. The webinar was organised by the International Centre for Green Technologies and Investment Projects (IGTIC) in cooperation with the European Union’s (EU) project “European Union – Central Asia: Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP).

The Best Available Techniques (BAT) is a concept used in the EU and 39 OECD countries, as well as in Russia, Belarus and China, to introduce advanced environmentally friendly technologies in industrial enterprises with an aim to significantly reduce environmental impact. This principle envisages the development of special reference books on such technologies broken down by industry and direction.

The introduction and development of BAT in the power sector will help improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions from large industrial plants in this strategically important industry in Kazakhstan. The country and the region of Central Asia as a whole face serious environmental challenges. The EU experience shows that integrated environmental permits associated with the implementation of BAT are one of the most effective tools for the transition to green economy. By transforming challenges into opportunities together, the EU supports capacity building in the region for better environmental governance.

In the European Union, BAT were first mentioned in 1984 in the European Council Directive on the combating of air pollution from industrial plants. Experience has shown that the life cycle of a technology should include not only its operation, but also its design, production, operation, maintenance and decommissioning. This was later reflected in the 1996 Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control. The 2010 Industrial Emissions Directive gave the final definition of the term BAT: “Best Available Techniques means the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation which indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing the basis for emission limit values and other permit conditions designed to prevent and, where that is not practicable, to reduce emissions and the impact on the environment as a whole”.

The European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Bureau (EIPPCB) issues BAT Reference Documents called BREFs. Since 2012, BREFs have been accompanied with legally binding BAT Conclusions. Operators of installations subject to integrated permits are required to comply with the BAT Conclusions within 4 years after publication.

Under the Green Deal, the EU aims to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 and is committed to continuing to support international partners in climate action and transition to circular economy. The EU believes that climate change requires concerted action of the entire international community. The current pandemic has shown that we have a common interest in joining our efforts to create a healthy and more sustainable future for our planet and ourselves.

The new draft Environmental Code of Kazakhstan envisages the transition to the principles of best available techniques, and in 2019, the BAT Bureau responsible for the development of a technical guide for such techniques was established at IGTIC.

According to IGTIC, the mandatory transition to BAT of fifty largest enterprises of Kazakhstan is currently being considered.

The largest emissions in Kazakhstan are from the energy sector, where the share of coal generation is 70%, whereas the main fuel is the high-ash coals of the Ekibastuz coal basin.

Despite the new Environmental Code has not yet been adopted, the measures provided for in the concept and the draft of this Environmental Code, imply the gradual transition of all the first category largest enterprises to the best available techniques by means of incentives through a multiple increase in environmental payments (2, 4 and 8 times). As a result, a burden of environmental payments will increase significantly, thus forcing enterprises to introduce clean technologies to be exempt from these payments for a certain period.

At present, the BAT Bureau together with the IGTIC Office of Scientific and Technological Development hold a series of open webinars on the EU and Russian experience of transition to BAT. A webinar on the experience of European countries in the transition to BAT in the power industry was held on 2 September 2020. The speaker of the webinar was Dr Vladislav Bizek, a WECOOP key expert on EU legislation, who previously served as a Deputy Minister of the Environment of the Czech Republic. Based on the EU example, the expert talked about the fundamentals of environmental regulation, the best available technologies and techniques (BAT), the integrated permitting process, technologies for increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions.

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to October 2022) aims to enhance environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC), as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.

The Platform was established at the EU–CA High Level Conference in Rome (Italy) in 2009 as a framework for the implementation of the EU–CA Cooperation in water and environment, based on the EU Strategy on Central Asia agreed with the CA countries. The priorities for the Platform were first agreed at the third EU–Central Asia High-Level Conference in Rome in 2009 and subsequently confirmed at the High-Level Conferences in Bishkek (2013), Milan (2015) and Tashkent (2019). The WGECC, chaired by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS), assists in the identification of regional cooperation priority actions and supports the Platform by strengthening policy dialogue and cooperation within the region as well as between the EU and CA. 

For additional information, please contact:

Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova
WECOOP Senior Communication Expert
mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020

Ms Nurgul Smagulova
WECOOP Event and Communication Officer
mobile/WhatsApp +77012066760

Yerkezhan Amriyeva
Political, Press and Information Section
EU Delegation to Kazakhstan