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Sri Lanka to seek observer status in CICA during President’s visit to Kazakhstan 0

Posted on November 22, 2012 by KazCham

ColomboPage News Desk, Nov 15, 2012

Nov 15, Colombo: Sri Lanka has decided to seek observer status in the multi-national forum, Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which is formed in 1992 for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Wednesday approved a proposal made by Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris to seek observer status in the diverse organization.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will announce Sri Lanka’s intention to join the CICA during his visit to Kazakhstan on November 20th.

The organization, formed on an initiative of Kazakhstan President in 1992, currently has 24 member countries of central Asia, Middle East, East Asia and South Asia. India and Pakistan are also among the member states while Bangladesh is an observer.

International Organizations such as UN, League of Arab States and several other countries including USA, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia have obtained observer status.

During President’s visit to Astana, Sri Lanka will enter into an agreement with Kazakhstan on cooperation in the field of tourism between the two countries. The cabinet has granted approval to a proposal put forward by the Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa to sign and ratify the agreement for cooperation in the tourism sector.

The proposed agreement will enhance the bilateral relationship between the two countries and strengthen the tourism flow in to Sri Lanka and open new avenue for trade and investments, the government said.

Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan in May this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand the bilateral relations between the two countries and hold regular consultations between the Ministries of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

The first round of annual bilateral consultations between the two countries was held in September at the Ministry of External Affairs in Colombo and during the meeting the two countries have discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation further in the political, economic, cultural, and scientific and the educational fields.

Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan on June 29, 1992.

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Kazakhstan’s Not Just About Oil: Deputy Prime Minister 0

Posted on October 23, 2012 by KazCham

Liza Jansen, CNBC, Oct 19, 2012

Energy markets may be eagerly waiting for production at a key new Kazakh oilfield to kick off, but Kazakhstan’s deputy prime minister Kairat Kelimbetov told CNBC that there is more to Kazakhstan than just oil production.

“We want to create a new economy. Our economic strategy is to diversify the economy and create non-oil sectors,” Kelimbetov said.

Its economy, heavily reliant on natural resources including oil, gas, uranium and zinc, suffered in the wake of the financial crisis as commodities prices fell. The country’s four largest banks received at least $3.47 billion in capital injections from the government in 2008. The country’s GDP growth slowed in 2012 to 5.6 percent, down from 7 percent in 2011, according to World Bank data.

There have also been much-publicized criticisms of Kazakh state-backed companies which have listed outside the country, particularly London-listed ENRC [ENRC-LN  345.50     -3.40  (-0.97%)].

Kelimbetov said he sees opportunities to expand Kazakhstan’s mining, chemicals, food processing and agricultural industries.

The Deputy Prime Minister added investment appetite in Kazakhstan is “huge” and that the government is thinking of launching a privatization program because they would like to sell assets in the energy sector and the banking sector.

Production at the much-anticipated Kashagan oilfield, at man-made islands off the coast of the former Soviet Union country, is expected to start in 2013 — 8 years behind schedule.  Once production is on stream, the country could turn into one of the world’s top ten oil producing countries, according to analysts.

Kazakhstan holds up to 3 percent of the world’s recoverable oil reserves and plans to increase crude output by more than 20 percent to 100 million tonnes by 2015, according to Reuters data.

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The only Kazakhstan’s building-construction plant to be erected in Kostanay 0

Posted on October 22, 2012 by KazCham

Tengrinews, Oct 19, 2012

The contract was signed on October 11 between Kostanai Akim (Mayor) Gauez Nurmukhambetov, management of Kostanai MBI and partners from Germany — General of Likon company Viktor Lichtner, commercial director of EBAWE Uve Seits, the company’s finance director Ekkert Verner and head of sales department of Progress Holding Iohan Aukentaler. The delegates met with Akim (Governor) of Kostanay oblast Nuraly Saduakassov.

“This is only the beginning of our cooperation with Kostanay. We discussed and thought over all the details and signed the contract and memorandum on social and economic cooperation in erection of the building-construction plant as part of Kazakhstan’s Affordable Housing-2020 program,” Director General of Likon company said.

“President has set the task to implement the Affordable Housing-2020 state program,” oblast Akim Nuraly Sauakassov said. “We have to do everything possible to implement it and the building-construction plant is one of the manifestation of our efforts. There is currently a need for such plant. This is a large step forward.”

The building-construction plant will produce wall panels, floor slabs, stair flights, elevator shafts and ventilation ducts. The plant will provide for annual construction of at least 80-90 thousand square meters of housing. The project is worth over 2 billion tenge ($13 million).

For more information see: http://en.tengrinews.kz/industry_infrastructure/The-only-Kazakhstans-building-construction-plant-to-be-erected-in-Kostanay-13669/

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Kazakhstan’s Improving Competitiveness Recognized by World Economic Forum 0

Posted on September 17, 2012 by KazCham

PRNewswire, Sept 12, 2012

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, September 12, 2012 — The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked Kazakhstan 51st in its latest annual competitiveness rating of world economies, up 21 places compared to last year.

The WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13 says that “this improvement reflects progress in a number of areas, but most importantly in macroeconomic stability, where the country ranks 16th, and technological readiness, where it advances from 87th to 55th”.

Kazakhstan’s neighbors, Russia and China, are ranked 67th and 29th, respectively, out of 144 countries.

Commenting, Foreign Minister Kazykhanov said: “A favorable rating in an influential survey of this kind is very important for Kazakhstan’s international reputation.  We are encouraged to see that our efforts to modernize the economy are viewed positively by the World Economic Forum and note that in 51st place we are ahead of a number of EU member states.  At the same time, we take the report’s recommendations seriously and intend to address them.  Our objective is to steadily improve our competitiveness and be one of the world’s top 50 most competitive economies.”

The WEF report notes that Kazakhstan needs to make progress in its categories of health, primary education, business sophistication and innovation.

Since independence, Kazakhstan’s GDP per capita has grown 16-fold from $700 to $12,000.  GDP growth has averaged 10% per year from 1999 to 2007.  GDP grew 7.5% last year and is currently projected to grow 5.8% in 2012 and for 6% in 2013.  Per capita GDP in 2011 was US$ 11,245.

Kazakhstan was listed 47th in the World Bank/IFC’s “Doing Business 2012” report that compares regulation for domestic companies across 183 economies.

Since 1992 Kazakhstan has attracted inward foreign direct investment worth more than US$90bn, representing around 80% of all foreign direct investments in Central Asia.

SOURCE Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan is a nation booming on the back of optimism 0

Posted on September 17, 2012 by KazCham

Faisal Al Yafai, the National, Sep 15, 2012

The sun is streaming down across the immaculate lawns of the campus. Serious young men and women rush from one building to another, carrying handfuls of books. They are an impressive bunch, with their perfect English and shy, thoughtful manners: teenagers in a hurry, preparing to be scientists, engineers and economists.

This is the campus of Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan’s only English-language university and a place that is swiftly becoming an incubator of a new elite. They are in some ways a self-conscious bunch. One, a 19-year old called Aizhan, says she intends to pursue further studies in the West after graduating.

“We look to Europe as our peers,” she says, “our country’s politics was always dependent on Russia, and that is changing. We focus more on Europe in our studies. Even the emphasis on learning English shows we are moving closer to Europe.”

To understand how astonishing that statement is requires some background on this Central Asian country. For while Kazakhstan is changing rapidly, the most unusual change is impossible to see.

In 1997, the capital city was merely a small town called Akmola. Since being designated the capital and renamed, the swiftest changes in the country have taken place here. Now, with billions spent on construction, Astana is a gleaming, 21st century city.

It’s most iconic building is the enormous Khan Shatyr, a shopping and entertainment centre built in the style of a transparent tent. Expensively dressed young people pour out of SUVs and shop for international brands. On the roof is an artificial beach. There are similar scenes repeated in high-end boutiques across this city and its larger sister, the commercial capital Almaty, far to the south.

These are the visible changes of a transformation. The numbers also tell a remarkable story. Since wresting independence from a collapsing Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan has changed beyond recognition. GDP per capita has soared from around US$700 in 1993, to more than $9,000 in 2010, putting the country firmly in the fold of middle-income countries, far richer than every Central Asian country that surrounds it. Or take poverty, which remains a serious problem across Asia. In 1996, 34.6 per cent of the population had incomes below subsistence levels; by 2009 that had been reduced to 8.2 per cent.

How far and how fast the country has changed in the past 20 years is the subject of Jonathan Aitken’s latest book, Kazakhstan: Surprises and Stereotypes. In the book, the journalist and former British cabinet minister (and one-time prison inmate) tours the nation, from prisons to the presidential palace, to show how it has moved on since independence.

Aitken starts from the premise that the outside world has a tendency to look at countries like Kazakhstan through particular prisms. Afghanistan and Pakistan are viewed through the lens of security. Discussion of Kazakhstan is often accompanied by questions of authoritarian rule and political participation. Yet, he contends, these countries, as with all nations, are repositories of diverse people and complex policies, of optimistic ideals and realistic plans.

Part of the difficulty of trying to assess a nation like Kazakhstan is that while the country has taken enormous strides over the past two decades, it has remained stagnant in some areas. The question, looking from the outside, is whether to focus on the progress or the shortcomings.

That is not a small question. Focusing on the progress can be seductive but it can miss how much more could have been achieved. Focus on the shortcomings can seem churlish, given the odds stacked against succeeding.

Aitken appears to have decided early on that the glass is half full. He puts his faith, or at least his credulity, in the good intentions of those – particularly officials – that he interviews. He often refuses to condemn a particular policy outright, preferring to search for the small things that went wrong, or how the intention went askew, or how things are gradually improving and need time.

That, to be fair, is an attitude shared by many Kazakhs themselves, who see the remarkable progress that has been made in their country, compare it to the trajectory other regional countries have taken and feel it is churlish to complain.

But that attitude begins to grate. Aitken sometimes seems more Pangloss than Candide; not critical enough for the matters under scrutiny. He is sometimes even flippant. A discussion about the criminal justice system and allegations of torture is summed up with: “To paraphrase Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley … the times they are a-changin’ in Kazakhstan. The leading criminal justice agencies are getting all shook up.”

Often it is simply a case of not asking the right questions, or looking for answers in the wrong places. This problem is illustrated by a chapter about Astana, the capital, and Almaty, the largest city, in which Aitken waxes lyrical about the cultural glories of Almaty and the economic future of Astana, yet never once mentions the rest of the country.

For all the progress made in those two cities, there remains a vast country where parts have not experienced the same rapid progression. Outside of the main cities there is still real poverty – and the criticism that government spending has been disproportionately allocated to urban areas is valid and doubly meaningful in a country where the population has historically been nomadic, and where almost half the population still lives in rural areas.

Or take an anecdote Aitken tells about the visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to a court in a small town. Two young men were found guilty of stealing a $100 (Dh367) stereo. Because they could not afford to pay the victim compensation, the prosecutor demanded a three-year sentence. At that point the president stood up in the public gallery and asked why the sentence was so harsh. He was told that was what the law demanded, if they could not pay compensation. The president paid on their behalf and the men were given a suspended sentence.

The anecdote, while instructive about the mentality of the man who leads the country, is not the starting point for a discussion of the criminal justice system – it’s the end. The detail of a court system that enforces such laws, of how those laws are formulated, of whether they can be effectively changed, of how or if there are systems of appeal against such harsh sentences – none of the topics are tackled by Aitken. The author often seems happier to discuss the sunshine in Astana than the shade elsewhere.

What comes out of Aitken’s pages, and from my own reporting from the country, is the difficulty of shifting an entire mentality and how, gradually, that change is occurring: slowly, through enlightened officials, through small changes, through big projects, the ideas that underpinned Kazakhstan for so long are being discarded and new institutions and ways of thinking are taking root.

That is what makes the attitude of Aizhan, on the campus of Nazarbayev University, so interesting. When she says that her peers look to Europe, it goes against the decades of domination by Russia, which continues to be the great power in Central Asia.

When she speaks of studying abroad, the thought carries with it a certainty that that aspiration will be fulfilled in due course: further education in the West is not cheap, yet, for those students at NU, it is a strong possibility, due to grants and scholarships from the government, and also, crucially, it is likely to lead to jobs.

Most of the NU students I spoke to were studying science or finance – they were equally certain they would find work in those fields after leaving.

That optimism in their future and the future of Kazakhstan is impossible to mandate. In one way, building a country is easy: with enough money, anything can be built. The institutions and the politics of creation are harder. And the attitude, or mentality, is hardest of all.

Aitken’s book is, in the end, rather better at looking at Kazakhstan’s progress rather than examining its shortcomings. It is laden with optimism, although he never answers the detail of how this mentality is created. It bodes well for Kazakhstan, however, that it has been created.

Faisal Al Yafai is a columnist for The National.

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Kazakhstan is the top performer in terms of improving its global competitiveness 0

Posted on September 07, 2012 by KazCham

The World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 Global Competiveness Report has demonstrated that Kazakhstan has made the most significant leap forward in terms of its global competitiveness among all countries covered by the report. The country jumped up 21 levels to settle at the 51st position (it ranked 72nd in 2011) outperforming its closest peer, Turkey, which moved up 16 notches this year.

Kazakhstan has shown substantial improvements in a number of areas, but most importantly in macroeconomic stability, where the country ranks 16th, and labor market efficiency, where it holds the 19th position. The country has also improved its positions in technological readiness (55th), market size (55th) and higher education and training (58th). Despite the progress achieved, important challenges related to health and primary education (92nd) and business sophistication (99th) remain.

According to the WEF’s report, Kazakhstan today is in transition mode, moving from an efficiency driven economy to innovation driven one. Other countries making a similar transition include Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Russian Federation, Turkey etc.  For these countries, the WEF places increasingly more weight on those areas that are becoming more important for the countries competitiveness as they develop, ensuring “penalization” for  those countries that are not preparing for the next stage.

In the first half of 2012, Kazakhstan’s economy, the largest in former Soviet Central Asia, grew by 5.6 percent (year-on-year), according to the latest official statistics. Since 2002 the country’s economy expanded 7 times or 1.2-1.3 times each year. According to the International Monetary Fund, Kazakhstan was ranked 53rd among 182 countries in terms of GDP production in 2011. With its current 11 thousand dollars GDP per capita, the country’s economy is expected to grow in 2012 by 6%, while the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific forecasts the country’s economic growth to be at 6.2 percent.

During his speech at the Atlantic Council Conference on Twenty Years of Kazakhstan’s Independence and U.S.-Diplomatic Relations, Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake highlighted the significant economic progress Kazakhstan has  achieved since the country became independent in 1991. “For 20 years, Kazakhstan has attracted considerable international investment that has created jobs and prosperity. Kazakhstan stands out in the region for substantially reducing poverty and laying a solid foundation for the creation of a real middle class,” he said.

It is expected that with its forthcoming accession to the World Trade Organization and participation in the OECD, Kazakhstan will make the further structural changes necessary for it to take advantage of regional and global integration efforts, and to spur its economic diversification, domestic output and exports.

The WEF’s Global Competiveness Report is the most high-profile publication the organization publishes. It ranked 144 economies, the largest group of countries the WEF has ranked to date. The rankings are based on an index created by the WEF’s experts that incorporates a series of metrics, including 12 “pillars of competitiveness”.

 

News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Contact person: Nurgali Arystanov

Tel.: 202-232-5488 ext 115; Fax: 202-232-5845

e-mail:nurgali@kazakhembus.com

 Website: www.kazakhembus.com

Twitter: @KazakhEmbassy

Facebook: Our Facebook Page

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The 4th Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes 0

Posted on September 03, 2012 by Sergey Sek

The Conference will take place in Moscow, Russia on 21 September 2012 at Radisson Royal Hotel Moscow. It will bring together members of the global legal community for a full day of informative and substantive programs presented by world-class experts. Topics will include: Resolving Disputes with Russian Regulatory Agencies, Arbitrability: What the CIS Has to Offer the World, Insolvency Litigation, WTO Litigation and Treaty Arbitration, Calculating Damages in the CIS, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Russia, International Attorney-Client Privilege in the Digital Age, Moot Court Arguments.

Brochure ENG

Registration Form

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Kazakhstan as Italian Second Pillar in the Post-Soviet Space? 0

Posted on August 18, 2012 by KazCham

By Dario Cristiani (Jamestown), August 7, 2012

In March 2012, the new Italian technocratic Prime Minister Mario Monti went to Kazakhstan as part of his first diplomatic trip to Asia since assuming the prime ministerial office in November 2011. This Asian tour, nicknamed a “road show” in Italy as its major aim was to promote Italy as an economic brand in Asia (Sole 24 Ore, March 26), had four stops: Kazakhstan, South Korea, China and Japan. Originally, the visit in Kazakhstan was scheduled at the end of this trip, with a bilateral meeting between Monti and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev. But for logistical reasons the visit was rescheduled and Monti, on his way to the Seoul, went to Astana for what he defined as a “technical stopover but with a political importance” and met Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov (Repubblica, March 26). Monti underlined the importance of Kazakhstan for Italy, saying that the country is “important economically but above all from an energy point of view.” The Italian company Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) is a major actor in the energy sector in Kazakhstan since the early years of the Central Asian republic’s independence and is particularly involved in the development of the Kashagan and Karachaganak oil field projects. Politically, Kazakhstan considers Italy to be its “main strategic partner in Europe” (Gazeta.kz, May 27, 2011). The two countries signed a treaty on strategic partnership, which was agreed to by President Nazarbayev and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2009 (Tengri News, March 31, 2011).

Given the technocratic nature of his government, Monti has limited room to pursue a truly autonomous foreign policy. His main task has been to carry out the unpopular economic and political reforms that elected governments in Italy were unable to deliver, and improving the dire Italian economic situation remains at the top of his government agenda. His foreign policy, then, is strongly dependent on this political restraint; thus he has not significantly changed the very substance of Italy’s foreign affairs. However, policies of the Monti government on the international scene reveal some politically relevant developments, and the attention on Kazakhstan is a good example. Specifically, it signals the persistence of a longer-term trend: Rome considers Kazakhstan the second political pillar of its strategy of engagement with the post-soviet space, whose core is the close relationship with Russia.

Such firm ties with Kazakhstan could be considered paradoxical and contradictory in a way, if analyzed through some developments of 2011, which would suggest that Baku, more than Astana, should represent the second pillar of Rome’s engagement with the post-Soviet space. In 2011, Azerbaijan represented the most important oil exporter to Italy, and its exports actually allowed Italy to manage the negative consequences of the Arab Spring on its energy needs. According to data provided by the Unione Petrolifera Italiana, in 2011, Azerbaijan’s share of the Italian oil market grew to 18.1 percent from 14.0 percent in 2010 (signaling also longer-term growth, as Baku’s share in 2006 was only 6.5 percent). Libya, which was indisputably the most important oil exporter for Italy over the past few years, strongly suffered because of the internal revolution leading to the overthrown of Muammar Qaddafi, and its oil output sharply shrank: it produced some 500,000 barrels per day in 2011, according to the IMF, down from 1.69 million barrels per day in 2010. Moreover, the oil Libya produced in 2011 went largely for domestic consumption, bringing exports to a near complete halt until October 2011 (IMF, January 2012). Libya’s resultant decline in Italian imports – from 23.1 percent in 2010 to 6.5 percent in 2011 – was counterbalanced by the increase in imports from Azerbaijan, followed by Russia, which made up 15.7 percent. Kazakhstan’s share of Italian oil imports, on the other hand, rose to just 4.2 percent in 2011, up from 3.8 percent in 2010 (UPI, July 2012).

Kazakhstan, however, is at the top of the Italian foreign policy agenda in the post-Soviet space, although Italy is strongly dependent on Azerbaijan for its energy needs in the short-term. How does one explain this apparent contradiction? In fact, three factors can be considered to account for why Italy maintains such a strong focus on Kazakhstan.

Energy Security:

Italy is betting on Kazakhstan as a more reliable “oil player” than Azerbaijan in the medium term. Apart from the proven oil reserves of the two countries, with Kazakhstan having a share of 1.8 percent of global oil reserves (30 million barrels) while Azerbaijan has only 0.4 percent (7 million barrels), there is a general perception that Kazakhstan can be a more reliable oil partner in the longer-term. This is not an absolute novelty for Italy. It was clear already when ENI decided to focus more on Kazakhstan rather than Azerbaijan (see EDM, September 9, 2011). However, negative developments in the oil sector of Azerbaijan over the past two years have somehow raised further concerns that this situation of decline is somehow structural rather than junctural. In the first half of 2012, according to official data, the oil sector of Azerbaijan shrank by 7.1 percent and associated exports declined by 8.2 percent (reflected also in the reduced real GDP growth forecasts on Azerbaijan of many international organizations), confirming a downward trend started in 2011. Generally, maintenance work on platforms and equipment was blamed for these negative developments but there are some more general concerns that the oil sector of the country will suffer increasingly over the coming years. Given these trends, oil sector reliability in the medium-term is likely a major element in Italy’s political and economic calculations in the region.

Political Coherence:

The core of Italian foreign policy in the area is based on its relationship with Russia. This is a structural element of Italian foreign policy and did not depend on the special relationship between Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin. Astana can be considered closer to Moscow than Baku (see EDM, July 23, July 13) and this makes the choice of Kazakhstan as the second pillar of the Italian strategy in the post-Soviet space more coherent with the general foreign policy of Italy in the region.

Export Prospects:

There is a perception in Italy that Kazakhstan will be, in the medium term, a more profitable market for Italian exports than Azerbaijan. Kazakhstan has a larger internal market than the South Caucasian country. It is also experiencing the emergence of a middle class keen to spend, and Kazakhstan possesses a rising upper class, which may be increasingly interested in Italian luxury goods and brands. As Kazakhstani wealth grows, Italy may also become a major tourist destination for well-to-do Kazakhs, reflecting a similar development that occurred with Russia’s upper classes over the past two decades.

In conclusion, although Azerbaijan remains among the most important energy partners of Italy, Kazakhstan has emerged so far as the second pillar of Italian strategy of engagement in the post-Soviet space after its relations with Russia. Rome may undertake some more resolute political steps in order to deepen its relations with Baku in the future. However, Astana is currently a more coherent and functional bilateral regional partner.

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Kazakhstan gets a vehicle for transportation of radioactive materials 0

Posted on August 15, 2012 by KazCham

By TengriNews, August 9, 2012

U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Kenneth J. Fairfax has transferred a special vehicle for transportation of radioactive materials equipped with anti-theft alarm system to the Nuclear Energy Institute of Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center, Tengrinews.kz reports.

“Such vehicles are very important because there are currently many areas that use radioactive materials. Radioactive materials are useful in the everyday life, but they are hazardous at the same time. A truck (carrying radioactive materials) can meet with an accident or get seized by those who can misuse such materials. Having such vehicles is very important for the residents of your country, as it will ensure their security,” Fairfax told the journalists.

At the ceremony of the transferring of the new KamAZ truck Fairfax also noted that it was a gift from the United States and the Netherlands. The truck costs 115 thousand Euro. It will be used for transportation of radioactive materials only. In future the truck will be equipped by additional state-of-the-art equipment, anti-theft devices in particular.

“We are the participants on the international base. There are cases when vehicles carrying radioactive materials are stolen by thieves who don’t even know what’s in them. The truck has special anti-theft equipment. I cannot tell you how it works. In general, it is protected in two ways: from radiation and from theft,” chairman of Kazakhstan Nuclear Energy Agency TimurZhantikin said.

According to Zhantikin, radioactive substances will be accumulated not only in the eastern part of the country, but also in its center. The hazardous cargoes will be transported to Baikal storage that has enough space. “It is understandable that its capacity is not unlimited,” he said and added that the plan was to consider construction of a recycling plant for radioactive wastes.

The U.S. and the Netherlands will transfer another similar truck to Kazakhstan’s Mangistau oblast.

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Kashagan’s big oil coming to market in mid-2013 -sources 0

Posted on August 14, 2012 by KazCham

By Reuters, August 10, 2012

Kazakhstan’s Kashagan oil field is set to make its first deliveries to markets in 2013 after years of delays, with large-scale exports expected from the middle of the year, industry sources told Reuters.

The start-up of the field, one of the world’s largest, has been delayed since 2005 due to cost overruns and disputes with authorities over taxes.

Production rates are initially expected to be very modest after the field starts operations at the end of this year or early next.

Some oil will flow through existing pipelines via Russia to Black Sea ports, some will be transported by Kazakhstan’s shipping firm Kazmortransflot via the Caspian Sea also for delivery to Black Sea or Mediterranean ports.

“Kazmortransflot is in discussion over a contract to ship oil from Kashagan in 2013… We are talking about 1-3 million tonnes out of the overall output of 3-7 million tonnes,” a shipping source told Reuters.

The consortium that controls the field is aiming to produce around 300,000 barrels per day in the initial test phase of operation at the field, eventually increasing to more than 1 million barrels per day in 2018-2019.

If the field reaches output of 7 million tonnes next year it would be equal to 140,000 bpd, enough to supply a mid-sized European refinery.

“They will start producing and stocking up oil, while exports are seen not earlier than June-July (2013),” the shipping source said.

The field is jointly controlled by state-run Kazmunaigas and six international oil companies. Kazmunaigas, Eni, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total own stakes of around 16.8 percent each.

ConocoPhillips owns 8.40 percent, and Japan’s Inpex 7.56 percent. Kazmunaigas entered the project in 2005 and later doubled its stake to 16.81 percent.

“In December there will be a ceremony to produce the first oil, but they will probably show the oil to the management and production will start in the middle of next year,” a Kazakh industry source said.

Kazakhstan, which holds 3 percent of the world’s recoverable oil reserves, plans to increase crude output by more than 20 percent to 100 million tonnes by 2015. Kashagan, discovered in 2000, will contribute much of this additional volume.

All the Kashagan shareholders are responsible for securing export routes for their crude.

“The main routes for Kashagan are likely to be CPC and BTC,” a Kazmunaigas source said referring to a pipeline via Russia and a pipeline from Azerbaijan to the Turkish Mediterranean coast.

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