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Computer generated impression of LRT vehicles at an elevated station

Astana Light Rapid Transit, Kazakhstan

Capital city Astana has a growing population which is expected to reach 1.2 million by 2020. In light of this the Government of Kazakhstan has been developing a 42km light rapid transit (LRT) system, which will be delivered in three phases.

View of apartment blocks in Astana city
Astana, Kazakhstan
Astana, Kazakhstan Astana is a rapidly expanding capital city. Its public transport system is struggling to cope so funding for the LRT network was very much needed.

We were appointed to undertake an independent due diligence for phase two of the project, covering financial and economic feasibility, technical and engineering feasibility, and project procurement and contracting.


Foremost was ensuring the project was viable and able to meet the funding criteria of our client, a major international development bank. Astana’s rapid growth has led to the associated problems of traffic congestion, environmental pollution, and a public transport system struggling to cope, so funding for the LRT network was vital.

We reviewed previous feasibility studies, passenger traffic forecasts and the preliminary financial analysis to produce a detailed financial and economic appraisal model. Project risks and related mitigation measures were identified, and a financial management assessment of the project implementing agency was undertaken.


We reviewed, assessed and optimised technical specifications, detailed design, route alignment, accessibility, timetables and service plans. We assessed the procurement capacity of the implementing agency and helped them prepare bid documents, evaluate bids and undertake contract negotiation. Our team was located in Astana to ensure application and knowledge transfer of international best practice and ethical standards.

Value and benefits

Bringing our international expertise in designing, constructing, operating, maintaining, procuring and financing, we added value in these areas:

  • Ensuring that the project delivers real and tangible economic benefits and value for money.

  • Infrastructure design and rolling stock specificied to cater for the country’s extreme climatic conditions.

  • Timetabling and operations.

  • Advising on procurement practices and contract structures that adhere to the highest international standards of transparency.

  • Knowledge transfer to the implementing agency, both on technical and contractual issues.

As a result of our work, and in agreement with the lender, a revised LRT solution with significantly enhanced value for money and accessibility benefits is being developed.

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