Kazahkstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev last week ratified an agreement between Kazahkstan and China on cooperation in construction of a landslide prevention dam on the cross-border Khorgos River.
An initial construction agreement had been signed during the official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Kazakhstan in June 2017. The agreement envisaged construction of a central reinforced concrete section supporting part of the dam, a control and measuring system, a temporary bridge and a waterflow drainage channel during construction, as well as bank protection structures below the dam.
“The dam is necessary to ensure the safety of Khorgos international cross-border cooperation center since it is situated in a dangerous location. The project cost is estimated at $34.4 million USD,” said Kazakh Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kassymov. The dam will be the property of Kazahkstan and China in equal parts, with both countries funding equally. This year, $11.17 Million USD from the 2018-2020 national budget was allocated for the dam construction, which will be completed in three years.
According to mudflow and flood hazard criteria, the Khorgos River belongs to the category of "high hazard". Apart from the cooperation center, the area vulnerable to natural disasters includes the Dostyk hydraulic power system, the Baskunchi and Khorgos settlements, the Atasu-Alashankou oil pipeline, road and railway bridges.
The dam, capable of halting approximately 10 million cubic meters of mudflow, will also protect people residing in the lower basin of the river.