Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham


Lukoil launches construction of new lubricants plant in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on June 16, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

An official ground breaking ceremony for a new PJSC LUKOIL lubricant blending plant was recently held in Kazakhstan.

The facility is being built in the Almaty region, close to the Western Europe-Western China transportation route, the Kazakh part of which will be completed in 2016. In view of the favourable location on the crossroads of vital transportation routes, the priority market for the plant will not only be Kazakhstan, but also the other countries of Central Asia, as well as Mongolia, Afghanistan and China.

“It is a new stage of LUKOIL’s cooperation with the Republic of Kazakhstan. The capacity of the plant will be 100,000 tons a year with an option to increase the output up to 130,000 tons. About $85 million will be invested. A high-tech lube blending plant capable of producing world-class products will be built,” said Maxim Donde, general director of LLK-International.

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€150 million solar power plant planned near Astana 0

Posted on June 12, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

A ground breaking ceremony was held for the construction of a solar power plant in the village of Kabanbai Batyr in the Akmola province, around 30 kilometres from Kazakhstan’s capital city, Astana.

KB ENTERPRISES (a wholly-owned Kazakh company) is implementing a project to build a solar power plant with a daily generation capacity of 100 MW or 288 thousand MW per year. The project will cost €150 million, including 30 percent in investments from Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.

More than 31,000 solar panels will be installed on an area of 300 hectares.

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Kazakhstan seeks export markets for surplus electricity 0

Posted on June 08, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

Kazakhstan now has a surplus electricity generation capacity of around 4-5 thousand MW per year, and is considering the possibility of electricity export and transit, according to Bakytzhan Kazhiyev, chairman of the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC).

Kazhiyev said China needs very large volumes of electricity: “[The Chinese] are not very much interested in electricity supplies to the border region of Xinjiang; they need power supplies to central China. We are negotiating such supplies with our Chinese colleagues.”

Speaking about the possible exportation of electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kazhiyev said that these countries do have a demand for power, but “we have no transmission grids, no possibility to transfer surplus electricity that exists in Kazakhstan

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EBRD to finance gas projects in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on June 06, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide up to €294 million for two ground-breaking projects to increase the use of domestically produced natural gas and largely replace the use of coal in Kazakhstan.

The relevant agreement was signed by EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and Chairman of the Board of the Kazakh KazTransGas gas transportation company, Kairat Sharipbayev.

The first project is the upcoming modernisation and refurbishment of the underground storage in Bozoi, in the bank’s first ever cooperation with KazTransGas.

The second project involves the expansion and modernisation of the natural gas distribution network in several regions of Kazakhstan. The upgrade will allow the company to connect new households and industrial customers to gas supplies, replacing the current carbon-intensive energy sources.

 

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Kazakh Land Code Commission to Continue Work as Changes Spark Unauthorised Rallies 0

Posted on June 03, 2016 by KazCham

Astana Times

A second meeting of the special Land Reform Commission took place in Astana on May 21 in a continued effort to calm public sentiment over recent land code changes that have sparked sporadic rallies.

The changes, which involve agricultural lands, were put on hold by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on May 5 until next year and until they can be better explained to the public or until further amendments can be introduced better satisfying the national interests. However, some citizens concerned about the changes and apparently unaware of the ongoing work of a representative commission sought to organize rallies around the country on May 21. Those rallies involved the detentions of some citizens and journalists.

While more than 70 commission members from business, NGOs, academia, media, government and parliament were debating the land issue and building a national consensus on it, some planned rallies in different regions of the country.

The second meeting of the commission, set up earlier in May, focused on the whole range of issues related to the sale and lease of land. The commission plans to have several meetings in Astana, held every Saturday. Commission members are then to discuss the changes with public councils and public organizations around the country before a final decision will be submitted for the consideration of the Kazakh Parliament.

The government says the controversial land code changes were not intended to allow foreign ownership of the Kazakh land, but only to extend the current limit of renting agricultural land from 10 years to 25 years to help encourage investment and innovation.

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Kazakhstan is a country with a promising future – IMF Chief Christine Lagarde 0

Posted on June 01, 2016 by KazCham

Forum-Astana

Kazinform offers its readers an exclusive interview with IMF Chief Christine Lagarde taken ahead her trip to Kazakhstan, for the Astana Economic Forum 2016.

Welcome to Kazakhstan! Madame Lagarde, this is your first visit to Kazakhstan and Central Asia. What is the objective of your trip and what are your expectations from meeting with Kazakhstan’s officials?

It is indeed my first trip to Kazakhstan and to the region. It is a momentous time for Central Asia, with the 25th anniversary of independence, and it is also a challenging time. The prices of oil and other commodities have declined sharply; growth paces in key trading partners, such as Russia and China, has slowed; and global financial conditions have tightened.

These developments can be long-lasting, and that’s why the regional round table meeting that we are organizing together with the Kazakh authorities comes at the right time. We will be discussing how to address the economic challenges and put Kazakhstan and the region on the right track towards growth and prosperity. And this will have to involve national policies as well as regional cooperation.

What are your views on the perspectives of Kazakhstan’s economy?

Kazakhstan has achieved a lot since its independence. The past 15 years in particular have been a time of growing prosperity and rising living standards, mostly as a result of increased production and high prices of commodities. Kazakhstan wisely saved some of the earnings from this period, placing them in a national fund. This helped the country navigate effectively through the aftermath of the 2008-09 global financial crisis.

Now the challenges are different. Similar to other oil exporters the decline in oil prices has had a major impact on Kazakhstan. The country is projected to grow by only 0.1 percent this year, much lower than the average growth rate of 7½ percent during the last 15 years, which was quite impressive. And we don’t expect growth to pick up very quickly over the next few years, so this is really a big change.

Now, it was important that the authorities allowed the tenge to float and strengthened the monetary and exchange rate policy framework, all measures that we think were appropriate. We think the fiscal framework can also be improved to bring more clarity and sustainability. We are suggesting to consolidate the accounts of the state budget, the local government budgets, as well as the so-called “extra-budgetary” funds into one presentation. This will help give a clear position of the authorities’ policy objectives and operations.

Read full article at Forum-Astana

The Speech by Christine Lagarde at AEF is available at International Monetary Fund.

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President discusses oil, gas cooperation with Chevron CEO 0

Posted on May 27, 2016 by KazCham

Astana Calling

Nursultan Nazarbayev held a meeting with Chevron CEO John Watson. The sides discussed further cooperation in oil and gas sectors, implementation of joint projects, as well as the expansion of the corporation’s contribution in development field.

Chevron invested $113 billion to the country’s budget. The company has been implementing a number of scaled projects in social infrastructure. Watson thanked Nazarbayev for providing a favorable investment climate in the country and attention to industrial development.

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Kazakhstan Pledges Shift to 50 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050 0

Posted on May 25, 2016 by KazCham

Inverse

The Paris Climate Accord has many countries excited about actually reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Even nations with rich fossil fuel reserves are carrying the banner of green energy, a powerful sign that the shifting climate landscape is radically altering how countries are calculating their interests.

Fossil fuel production constitutes 17 percent of Kazakhstan’s GDP, yet the Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov just announced the country is planning to shift to 50 percent renewable energy by 2050. For some perspective, in 2015, the United States generated just 13 percent of its energy from green sources, like wind, solar, and hyrdo.

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, Idrissov promised that Kazakhstan would sign the Paris Climate deal and make the necessary changes to fulfill its obligations.

“Although our country is rightly known for its abundance of conventional energy resources, we are absolutely committed to developing green economy,” Idrissov said. “We have set ourselves ambitious goals, for example, to generate 50 percent of our electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2050.”

That famous Kazakhstan snark is perfectly appropriate in this instance. It is pretty incredible how some nations are bearing the brunt of shifting to green energy, while others seem to be coasting on their backs. The United States produces the second most emissions in the world, behind only China, and the third most emissions per capita, behind only Saudi Arabia and Australia respectively. And we could be doing way more to shift to renewables, we’re just not doing it.

In a recent Twitter chat, Bill Nye talked about how quickly the United States could convert its entire economy to 100 percent renewable energy, and the answer is far less daunting than one would imagine.

“We could certainly do almost all of it, here in the United States, by 2050,” Nye said, adding ominously: “If we wanted to.”

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Best practice procurement forum underway in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on May 24, 2016 by KazCham

Public Finance International

Procurement specialists have gathered in Kazakhstan this week to share best practice on how to ensure integrity and transparency in public procurement.

The 12th Procurement, Integrity, Management and Openness (PRIMO) Forum, backed by the World Bank and others, draws professionals from 24 countries across Europe and Central Asia to discuss reforms and promote cross-regional cooperation and good governance.

Cyril Muller, World Bank vice president for Europe, said after the first PRIMO Forum took place over a decade ago, the forum had reached a level of “network maturity”.

“[This] provides an opportunity to all key public procurement stakeholders to freely exchange their knowledge, experiences and ideas to foster efficient and sustained regional and global cooperation in public procurement.”

This year, the forum will focus on professionalising the procurement function, which is not considered a specific profession in many of the participating countries.

The bank said this will play a critical role in helping governments to sustain the reform and modernisation of procurement systems.

Previous forums have focused on technological developments such as centralised purchasing of common-use goods and services or electronic procurement, transparency and integrity, and measuring performance.

At the conclusion of the three-day forum, each country will share an action plan to improve procurement over the following year, which will be monitored by governments, international financial institutions and other procurement experts.

The forum is co-sponsored by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, and also supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development among others.

Kazakhstan was chosen to host the summit this year based on fundamental improvements the government has made to the procurement process in recent years.

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Kazakhstan: from the center of the nuclear threat to a center for security and safety 0

Posted on May 23, 2016 by KazCham

EU Today

In the golden years of detente that followed the breakup of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, humanity aspired towards the total denuclearisation of the planet. But events were to take a different turn, and today we can say with regret that the drive towards disarmament is largely over, due to the actions of both NATO and Russia.

Now we have sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy the entire planet, several times over. A single warhead is capable of destroying a million-strong city in a matter of moments – Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) – to use Cold War parlance.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is no longer fulfilling its purpose.

Nuclear weapons, along with the technology and expertise required to produce them, have spread all over the world, largely due to double standards of the main powers. It may be just a matter of time before they fall into the hands of terrorists, a real fear that is understood by all. This is why the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington last month gathered leaders of nearly fifty countries of the world.

First to take the floor and address the Summit was President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.

During the last 25 years, Astana has taken a lead in this issue, and has demonstrated real commitment towards disarmament, and the restoration of the non-proliferation process. The country has, historically, held nuclear weapons. Indeed, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan inherited the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

Although the country possessed the experts, and all the necessary infrastructure for the realisation of a nuclear weapons program, Kazakhstan voluntarily refused to do so.

Read full article at EU Today

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