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Currently, the Kazakhstan Energy Ministry, a number of other government agencies, the Unicase Law Firm, and Samruk-Energy JSC are implementing a whole range of measures aimed at improving the conditions for investment projects in hydroelectric power plants construction. Together, we invest joint efforts in improving the country's legislation and the environment.


Investment Conditions Improvement for Hydroelectric Power Plants Construction in Kazakhstan
The Project is being carried out under the technical guidance of Tetra Tech, a global leader in engineering solutions for HPPs and water treatment facilities. We provide effective legal advisory and related services in support of Tetra Tech’s implementation of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Power Central Asia (PCA) activity.
Unicase presented an overview of the current state of hydropower industry in Kazakhstan and a thorough analysis of the local regulatory framework, related to:

1) the procedure for allocating land and procedures for obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for the hydroelectric power plants construction;
2) the order of construction and procedures for obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for the HPPs construction.

In the process of preparing the analysis, a series of high-level meetings were held:

• with the government officials: The Ministry of Ecology, Geology, and Natural Resources of the Republic; with the Committee for Water Resources at the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture;
• with officials from the state regulator in the field of energy supply: Samruk-Energo JSC, KOREM JSC;
• with large developers of hydroelectric power plants projects: Energomost Consortium, KazHydroEnergo LLP, and KazHydroCascade LLP.
Unicase processed all the information received, assessed the legal requirements and the regulatory framework for the sector, and audited the procedure of obtaining land plots, construction, and operation of hydroelectric power plants. Also, we identified the main barriers to investment projects on plant construction and drafted amendments to various legislative acts to remove the said barriers. Reports and the amendments to legislative acts were presented to the authority.
Hydropower is one of the largest sources of clean and green energy in the world, and Kazakhstan has a huge hydropower potential, still untapped. The development of this industry is especially important for the country's economy. However, Kazakhstan is burdened by a number of factors and barriers, including legislative procedures which investors into hydropower face when implementing their projects.
Going in line with the Firm’s mission ‘to pursue the sustainable future’, the work delivered by Unicase is a contribution to the 2020-2030 Hydropower Industry Development Plan implementation. The Plan was approved by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic on September 4, 2020, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, Power Central Asia (PCA) Activity, and it has local and global significance.
Impact & Outcome
The Project’s innovation: it had been the first time when the regulatory framework, governing hydropower projects, was analysed in Kazakhstan.
The exclusivity of the Project is in the Unicase Team engagement: the direct research of and improvement to the legislation in order to eliminate legal barriers in the HPPs construction. Based on the results of our work, a new normative act will see light, and it will be designed to increase the Republic's investment attractiveness. The amendments will be made pointwise to optimise all the stages in the process of obtaining land plots and building HPPs.
The Project’s main complexity lies in the lack of hydropower industry professionals. Hydropower is a pressing issue in the country and requires law optimisation. Due to the total absence of any research on legislation related to hydroelectric power plants, Unicase has been the first to pave the way in this area and to indicate the barriers.
As a result, this Project will facilitate all the procedures necessary for the construction of new hydroelectric power plants, developing the industry as a whole and, hopefully, making the country stand out.