Қазақстан темiр жолы

Climate change risks


Climate change is an extraordinary global problem that requires measures to combat climate change and its consequences. Climate variability and change can have a significant impact on the state of rail transport and infrastructure.


Natural and climatic risks

Changes in precipitation levels can affect the dynamics of river flow, which can cause negative consequences for railways, the functioning of railway terminals, ports. Such phenomena can cause immediate damage, the elimination of which will require extraordinary measures. It can also lead to the destruction or deterioration of the operational and technical condition of roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, drainage systems, telecommunications and traffic control systems, increasing the need for maintenance work. The consequence of frequent heavy rainfall and floods is an increase in the number of accidents caused by weather events, delays and disruptions in the functioning of transport networks.

Hurricane winds can cause damage to port facilities (for example, cranes and cargo terminals), complicate the work of railway transport.

Periods of abnormal heat can also affect transport services and infrastructure (physical strength and durability of infrastructure, the ability to perform its basic functions), causing wildfires and crop failures, leading to water shortages, complicating food storage and creating additional load on energy networks. At the same time, deformation / deterioration of the quality of road surfaces and interruptions in traffic, deformation of railway tracks and desiccation of their roadbed are possible, which threatens long delays due to the speed limit of trains.

One of the significant natural and climatic risks is the risk of shallowing of the Caspian Sea. The main reason for the fall in the lake level is considered to be the warming of the climate in the Central Asian region, as well as in the Volga River basin - the main source of nutrition of the Caspian Sea. According to experts, the average annual air temperature in the Caspian region has increased by 1 degree over the past 20 years. Due to the fact that the Caspian Sea-lake has no connection with other seas and oceans, its level depends mainly on precipitation, water inflow from tributaries and the amount of evaporation. Due to the increase in air temperature, the water costs for evaporation increase, which, in terms of such a huge area, results in significant losses. To date, the Caspian has a negative water balance: more moisture evaporates from its surface than atmospheric precipitation, the Volga, the Urals and other tributaries bring.

The potential impact of a changing climate and the possibility of rapid recovery with minimal costs are taken into account in planning, design, construction and operation, as well as in the framework of more general economic and development strategies and policies affecting this sector.


Environmental risk

Railway transport is the most environmentally friendly mode of transport. The environmental benefits of rail transport are provided, first of all, by the widespread use of electric traction, which eliminates emissions of harmful substances into the atmospheric air and reduces soil pollution with heavy metals.

NC KTZ JSC  carries out on an ongoing basis an assessment of environmental risks, which includes: determining which emergencies related to environmental pollution may arise as a result of the project, assessing the cost of work to completely eliminate environmentally significant consequences caused by an emergency of each type, determining the probabilities of emergencies of each type.

NC KTZ JSC  carries out its activities in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on environmental protection, the Environmental Code, the Law on Railway Transport and other laws, regulations and international conventions. NC KTZ JSC monitors its production processes and harmful emissions using industrial environmental control and management systems. These controls allow the Company to make environmental management decisions and formulate environmental policies related to environmental protection, regulation of the production process, minimizing the impact of the production process on the environment, public health and improving efficiency in relation to the use of energy and natural resources.

In accordance with the current legislation and regulations, the Company undergoes a mandatory energy audit at least once every 5 years, after which measures are developed to save and improve energy efficiency and help reduce annual costs for fuel and energy resources. The company annually reviews its environmental plans in order to minimize the impact of its activities on the environment and take into account government initiatives, including initiatives in the field of green economy. The current environmental strategy of NC KTZ JSC includes, among other things: equipping emission sources with treatment equipment, reconstruction of treatment facilities and the development of regulatory and environmental policies and documentation.

Annually, funds are allocated for environmental protection measures, including for the conclusion of contracts with third-party specialized organizations for waste disposal and environmental pollution measurement, the development of permits, training of relevant personnel, the purchase of environmental insurance and work on landscaping and infrastructure development.


Risk of shallowing of the Caspian sea

The risk of lowering the level of the Caspian sea significantly affects the coastal ecosystem in the Aktau Commercial Seaport area and affects its activities. 

Since 1999, the level of the Caspian sea has tended to decrease. In the period from 1999 to 2020, little precipitation fell on the Caspian sea, and evaporation processes were more intense. This is also due to the fact that the inflow of water from the Volga river has decreased (there were low-water years). The main reason for this lack of water is the warming of the climate, which has engulfed the entire northern hemisphere.

The main environmental problems that may arise due to a decrease in the water level in the Caspian sea:

• reduction of the area of the intake canal as the main source of water in the Mangystau region, and acute shortage of water for the life support of the population;

• the shallowing of the floodplain of the Zhaiyk river and the reduction of spawning grounds and, as a result, the population of sturgeon fish;

• the shallowing of the warm lake Karakol and the reduction of red-book birds arriving for the winter, such as swans, pink flamingos, golden eagles, etc.;

• reduction of the water level in the water area of seaports and forced dredging with excavation, which will have a significant impact on the coastal ecosystem in the seaport area.


 To reduce the consequences of the risk of shallowing of the Caspian Sea, the following measures are being taken:

• inspection by divers of the berths and the bottom along the berths at a distance of 20 meters with the lifting of foreign objects.

• Selection and cleaning works in local areas of the bottom of JSC "NC "AMTP".

• cleaning the bottom with a strip of 18 meters along the berths of the port of Aktau with the lifting of foreign objects in accordance with the developed project for the production of works.

• daily monitoring of sea level by reading the staff.

In 2023, it is planned to continue measures to reduce the risk and develop design estimates for dredging the Aktau port water area. It will include the determination of the volume of excavation, the technology of work, the estimated cost of construction, the assessment of environmental emissions and compensation for environmental damage.


From 2023 to 2025, construction and installation work will be carried out in the water area of the Aktau port with an approximate area of 80 hectares. The result of these works will be a dredging facility that will increase the safety of navigation and improve the possibilities for the full loading of ships.

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