Kazakh Industry and Infrastructure Development Ministry introduced a six-month ban on coal via road transportation to prevent a repeat of last year's winter-rush-induced shortage, Qazmonitor reports citing Kapital.
The ban on taking coal out of the country in trucks and cars will take effect on August 1. Other forms of solid fuel, including briquettes and pellets, are also subject to restrictions.
September of 2021 proved to be a rather unpleasant experience that policymakers are trying to avoid at all costs. The heating season had come unexpectedly early when a sharp cold snap brought a sudden spike in demands for coal in the country's central and northern regions, inevitably causing a deficit.
“Unscrupulous traders exploited this situation during the peak period of coal purchases and added 'extra fees' to their prices. They bought the coal at 13,000 tenge ($27) per ton and resold it for up to 30,000 tenge per ton. That had a negative impact on the population,” an explanatory note attached to the decree read.
The Industry Ministry added that there are complaints from the public that coal intended for the domestic market is exported.
"Analysis shows that coal exports to neighboring countries have increased: 19% to Kyrgyzstan and 30% to Uzbekistan. In 2021, Kazakh coal exports to Kyrgyzstan amounted to 1,143,000 tons, of which 1,020,000 tons were exported by rail, and 123,000 tons were exported by road to the neighboring states. To avoid public frenzy and ensure energy security, the Ministry considers it advisable to ban the export of coal by road transportation during peak period: from August 1 for 6 months," concluded the explanatory note.