Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham



Kazatomprom Establishes U.S. Presence 0

Posted on June 12, 2013 by KazCham

Kazakhstan’s Atomic Company Opens D.C. Office, Seeks to Grow U.S. Business Ties

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2013 — Kazatomprom, the national nuclear company of Kazakhstan, has opened a full-time office in the United States. The announcement was made during a full-day nuclear industry conference Kazatomprom held on May 16 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Kazatomprom’s office, which is located in Washington D.C., was opened to support an increase in U.S. uranium sales, establish and maintain direct relationships with the American uranium market, as well as to promote the sale of more sophisticated nuclear products the company offers, such as beryllium and tantalum, among others.

Addressing the conference, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United States, Kairat Umarov, said, “Kazatomprom’s long term strategy is to develop into the world’s leading global uranium producer. Today the aim is to ensure the support of our [American] partners in tapping the great potential here to its full extent.”

During the conference, Kazatomprom’s representatives reported on Kazakhstan’s booming uranium sector and nuclear industry as well as presented their company’s development strategy. Kazatomprom’s partners – AREVA, Comeco Corp. and Uranium One – spoke about  their positive experiences in Kazakhstan and the country’s attractive investment climate.

The conference was also attended by senior representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. – Kazakhstan Business Association, as well as representatives of leading operators of nuclear power stations in the US, and trading companies operating on the uranium market such as Exelon Generation, Dominion Generation, Duke Energy Corp., Constellation Energy Nuclear Croup, Entergy Services, PSEG Nuclear LLC, ITOCHU, USEC Inc., URENCO Inc., Westinghouse Electric Co. among others.

News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 12 June, 2013

Rare earth metals plant opened in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on November 10, 2012 by KazCham

D.Mukhtarov, Trend, Nov 2, 2012

Kazakh city of Stepnogorsk hosted the opening ceremony of a new production complex of collective concentrates of rare earth metals (REM), built by a joint Kazakh-Japanese company Summit Atom Rare Earth Company (SARECO), the Kazakhstan National Atomic Company Kazatomprom said.

About $30 million was invested in the creation of a pilot REM production. Funding was provided by the founders of SARECO in line with the distribution of shares in the authorized capital: JSC Kazatomprom- 51 percent and Sumitomo Corporation – 49 percent.

SARECO plant is designed to produce 1,500 tones of TREO (total of rare earth oxides), with an increase in production capacity to 3,000 tons of TREO in 2015 and to 5,000-6,000 tones of TREO a year by 2017. A significant part of the production will be the so-called heavy rare earth group, the scarcest and demanded today.

The main target market of SARECO is Japanese market.

During the grand opening of the plant heads of Kazatomprom and Sumitomo Corporation, Vladimir Shkolnik and Toru Furihata signed an agreement on the project, determining the next steps for the implementation of SARECO development strategy .

Evolution of role sees fund gearing up for ‘People’s IPO’ 0

Posted on December 25, 2011 by Alex

The heart of Kazakhstan’s economy, Samruk-Kazyna has, since its inception, played a crucial role in the country’s industry and economy. Now the fund is ready to float some  of its assets at discounted prices to retail investors. By Clare Nuttall

Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna put to work billions of US dollars to support the economy during the global economic crisis. With Kazakhstan growing strongly, the fund’s role has evolved – it is now responsible for creating new industries and increasing efficiency in the economy’s most important companies.

This year will see further dramatic changes, as minority stakes in some of its largest and most attractive companies are floated on the domestic stock exchange. Samruk-Kazyna was created in the depths of the crisis through the merger of two existing organizations – holding company Samruk and investment company Kazyna – in October 2008, and its importance to the Kazakh economy cannot be overestimated. Its subsidiary companies include the national rail and postal companies, electricity grid operator Kegoc, state oil-and-gas giant National Company KazMunaiGas, nuclear company Kazatomprom, national air carrier Air Astana, and three of the top four banks. It is also the parent of the Damu small enterprise fund, private equity fund of funds Kazyna Capital Management, and other  financial organizations.

Overall, Samruk-Kazyna manages assets worth in excess of $70 billion, accounting for around 40 percent of the economic activity in the country. It has a total of 404 subsidiaries and affiliated companies. As of March 2010, Samruk-Kazyna announced it had invested KZT897 billion ($6.1 billion) from Kazakhstan’s National Fund to support the economy during the crisis. Its largest financial commitment was to the banking sector, where it invested some KZT486 billion.

Other anti-crisis measures included supporting the real-estate sector (KZT360 billion), support for small and medium-sized enterprises (KZT120 billion) and implementing industrial and infrastructure projects (KZT121.5 billion).

Samruk-Kazyna became the majority shareholder of  BTA Bank and Alliance Bank, injecting liquidity when both were on the brink of collapse in February 2009. Today, a debt restructuring for the two banks has been agreed with creditors.

At the same time, the fund took minority stakes in Kazakhstan’s other big-four banks, Halyk Bank and Kazkommertsbank. Now that GDP growth in Kazakhstan has returned to pre-crisis levels, Samruk-Kazyna is starting to divest some of the assets it acquired during the crisis. The fund has already exited its investment in Halyk, selling the stake back to the bank and its majority shareholder Almex.

Kazkommertsbank could buy back its shareholding in the near future. A sale of BTA to Russia’s Sberbank is still on the cards and Samruk-Kazyna is also looking at potential exit routes for Alliance, but it is adamant that it will sell its shareholdings only if the price is right.

Post crisis, Samruk-Kazyna is involved in raising the efficiency of its subsidiaries, and is the main conduit for big foreign investment projects. The emphasis within Kazakhstan has shifted toward production of processed and value-added products, rather than being purely a supplier of raw materials.

Several of the priority projects within the 2010-14 Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development program are aimed at achieving this goal. Samruk-Kazyna is already working to diversify and industrialize Kazakhstan. The ‘breakthrough projects’ under the Samruk-Kazyna umbrella include reconstruction of the Atyrau refinery, modernization of the national electricity grid and construction of several new power stations. Within Samruk-Kazyna, two holding companies created in late 2008 are responsible for the chemicals and metals sectors, respectively. The United Chemicals Company was set up to develop a national chemicals industry and reduce Kazakhstan’s dependence on imports of products such as fertilizers. Tau Ken Samruk is the holding company for the Kazakh government’s stakes in metals and mining companies. While oil and gas still account for the lion’s share of Kazakhstan’s exports, metals and mining have been growing in importance in recent years.

Soaring metals prices, and the steady growth in demand from neighboring China in particular, have provided an impetus for Kazakhstan to increase its output. The government stakes in two major London Stock Exchange-listed mining companies – Eurasian Natural Resources Company (ENRC) and Kazakhmys – are held within Tau Ken Samruk. Both companies have an immense presence in the Kazakhstan mining sector, as well as internationally.

Kazakhmys is the largest copper producer in Kazakhstan and one of the top 10 producers worldwide. ENRC – a diversified natural resources group – has a presence in China, Russia, Brazil and Africa, as well as in Kazakhstan. This year has already seen significant changes for Samruk-Kazyna. On April 12, Timur Kulibayev was promoted to chairman as part of the post-elections reshuffle. Kulibayev, the son-in-law of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, was previously the company’s deputy chairman.

The fund’s main task this year will be to carry out the ‘People’s IPO’ program, under which shares in companies that are wholly or partly owned by Samruk-Kazyna will be offered at a discount to retail investors and pension funds. In addition to raising funds for expansion, the program is also intended to stimulate the domestic capital market.

At least some of the IPOs are due to take place by the end of this year. Companies expected to be part of the first wave of IPOs include power-generation company Samruk-Energo, electricity grid operator Kegoc, postal service Kazpost and KazMunaiGas Exploration and Production. In the following two years, IPOs of other companies – including Kazatomprom, National Company KazMunaiGas, and railway operator Kazakhstan Temir Zholy – are planned.

SOURCE: Invest in Kazakhstan, 2011, p. 45-46

Kazakhstan Now World’s Largest Uranium Miner 0

Posted on November 27, 2011 by Alex

John C.K. Daly, Oilprice.com, Nov 20, 2011

Kazakhstan’s international energy image is now that of one of the world’s rising oil exporters, an extraordinary feat given that, two decades ago its hydrocarbon output was beyond insignificant when the USSR collapsed. The vast Central Asian nation, larger than Western Europe,  has now quietly passed another energy milestone.

Kazakhstan produces 33 percent of world’s mined uranium, followed by Canada at 18 percent and Australia, with 11 percent of global output. Kazakhstan contains the world’s second-largest uranium reserves, estimated at 1.5 million tons. Until two years ago Kazakhstan was the world’s No. 3 uranium miner, following Australia and Canada.

Together the trio is responsible for about 62 percent of the world’s production of mined uranium.

According to Kazakhstan’s State Corporation for Atomic Energy, Kazatomprom, during January-September, the country mined 13,957 tons of uranium. “The volume of uranium mining in the Republic of Kazakhstan (for January – September) comprised 13,957 tons, which is 11 percent higher than the same period last year.” Even more impressive, Kazatomprom’s revenues soared 72 percent year-on-year. Kazatomprom is the state-owned Kazakh national operator for the export of uranium, as well as rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants, special equipment, technologies, and dual-purpose materials.

To put Kazakhstan’s accomplishment in context, a mere five years ago Kazakhstan produced 5,279 tons of uranium.

While the March disaster at Japan’s Fuskuhima nuclear complex has caused several European nations to reassess their commitment to nuclear power, Kazakhstan’s regional markets seem assured in Asia’s rising economic powerhouses China and India. While Beijing has reacted to Fukushima by ordering thorough inspections of the nation’s nuclear power plants, China’s Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense in its 11th Five-Year Plan for the Nuclear Industry announced China intended to produce 40 gigawatts of nuclear power electrical generating capacity within a decade, even though nuclear power currently accounts for just 1.4 percent of China’s electrical power generation.

If China follows through with its ambitious nuclear power plant construction plans the country will need an estimated 44 million pounds of uranium annually, as by 2020 the country will have a total of 77 planned and proposed new reactors. Of China’s 11 current nuclear power plants, the oldest, Qingshan-1, only came online in 1991.

India’s nuclear ambitions parallel China’s. While nuclear power currently accounts for only 3-4 percent of the country’s electrical output, India has 19 planned and proposed nuclear power reactors on the drawing board.

But the specter of the Japanese nuclear crisis has even overshadowed Astana’s optimism.

Speaking at the Minex conference in Astana on 5-7April, Kazatomprom president Vladimir Shkol’nik stated that the Fukushima debacle would not greatly influence the Kazakh state atomic company’s plans.

Despite Shkol’nik’s optimism, immediately after the Fukushima disaster the world uranium spot price plummeted from over $70 per pound to just $49 per pound, but has since rebounded to roughly $55 in November.

But Kazakhstan is moving beyond the mere mining of uranium to producing nuclear fuel rods. On 4 November French Industry and Energy Minister Eric Besson signed a contract with the Kazakh government allowing France’s Areva to open a nuclear fuel plant with Kazatomprom. A statement from Besson’s office noted, “This deal commits to the creation in Kazakhstan, the top global producer of uranium, of a nuclear fuel production plant dedicated to the Asian market. The construction of this plant could start as soon as the feasibility study is completed by the end of the first quarter of 2012.” According to the agreement, the facility will consist of a new production line at Kazakhstan’s ULBA metallurgical plant that will be 51 percent owned by Kazatomprom and 49 percent by Areva.

And flush with cash, next year Kazatomprom may buy into the Russian Federation’s Urals Electrochemical Integrated Plant (UEIP), the largest uranium enrichment facility within Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom. Last month Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko told journalists, “We are involved in purely technical procedures now, taking into account the organization and relevant restrictions (of a closed nuclear facility). We are moving within a set timetable. We have a plan – to complete all work in 2012. And we should begin working with Kazatomprom in 2012.”

Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency released its 2011 “World Energy Outlook,” which states that if the world is serious about global warming, it should consider the continued use of nuclear power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With Kazakhstan’s oil exports currently running at 1.74 million barrels per day and the nation being now the world’s largest uranium miner, it would seem that Astana is going to continue to rake in the cash no matter what energy policies the world adopts in the short term.

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=801&cntnt01origid=90&cntnt01category_id=6&cntnt01returnid=90

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – November 7, 2011 0

Posted on November 07, 2011 by Alex

ENERGY:

Areva, Kazatomprom sign deal to produce nuclear fuel for Asia (Dow Jones)

China pipes home 16.9 bcm of Central Asian gas – CNPC (Reuters)

Max Petroleum spuds ‘high impact’ well on Emba B prospect in Kazakhstan (Proactive Investors)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

New beginnings in Central Asia
(bne) – Recent deals by local private equity funds indicate that the combination of the global crisis and the subsequent recovery is finally opening up new opportunities for private equity in Kazakhstan and the wider Central Asian region.

Kazakh grain harvest more than doubles to 29.5 million tonnes (Bloomberg)

Indicators – November 4, 2011 (Reuters)

METALS AND MINING:

Volatile markets force ENRC to delay Shubarkol deal (Reuters)

Hambledon Mining expects to restart operations at mineral process plant November 7(Proactive Investors)

POLITICS AND SECURITY:

Kazakh lawmakers seek to punish terror financiers (Central Asia Online)

Kazakhstani officials, law enfircement not ready for terrorist war – expert (Interfax)

SOCIETY:

Kazakhstan climbs one step up in 2011 Human Development Index (Interfax)

Cyanide pollutes Kazakh river (Central Asia Online)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/11/07/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-november-7-2011/

Kazakhstan Ends Rise In Uranium Production To Stabilize Prices 0

Posted on November 02, 2011 by Alex

Dow Jones Newswires, Christopher Pala & contributing to Dow Jones Newswires, Oct 03, 2011

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -(Dow Jones)- After more than tripling its output of uranium in four years to become the world’s top producer, Kazakhstan has stabilized production to around 20,000 metric tons annually in order to avoid further depressing prices, Sergei Dara, Director of Strategic Development and International Projects at Kazatomprom, the state nuclear company, said Monday.

He said as long as prices remain at their current low levels, “Kazakhstan will not develop new projects and our production will remain at the current level.”

But the country may still ramp it up to 25,000 tons annually–about 40% of world production–“provided that such quantities are required by the market and we are confident we will realize a fair return on our investments,” he said.

“Prices were low in 2008 and 2009 mostly because Kazakhstan’s production was increasing so fast,” said Stanislav Chuyev, senior analyst at Visor Capital, an investment bank in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s financial center.

“Keeping production at 20,000 tons will help level the prices.”

When production jumped from 8,521 tons in 2008 to 14,020 tons in 2009, Kazakhstan became the world’s largest supplier of uranium. The rise continued in 2010, to 17,803 tons and is expected to be 19,800 tons this year and next year, Dara said.

Also, Kazatomprom, despite already operating some 20 mines in partnership with France’s Areva SA (ARVCY), Russia’s Rosatom, and Canada’s Cameco (CCJ) and others, is continuing a policy of acquiring interests in downstream production plants so it can earn profits from processing operations, not just mining and selling uranium.

“Kazakhstan is looking to be involved in every stage of the cycle except fuel reprocessing and waste disposal,” said Michael Carter, CEO of Visor.

IFASTAR, a new French-Kazakhstani joint venture at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Usk Kamenogorsk, eastern Kazakhstan, which was once one of the main suppliers of fuel pellets for Soviet reactors, is preparing to produce fuel assemblies to power nuclear power plants to the specifications of Areva-designed plants around the world. Fuel assemblies, the core of a nuclear power reactor, are assemblies of metallic tubes filled with ceramic pellets containing uranium dioxide powder.

The joint venture, 49% owned by Kazatomprom and 51% by Areva, will have a nominal capacity to produce 400 metric tons of refined uranium in pellets annually, with the first customer set to be China, for whom Kazakhstan is now the principal supplier of natural uranium.

The Ulba plant has already produced two tons of fuel pellets for another China customer as a test run, and is due to start commercial deliveries to China shortly, Dara added.

This year, Kazatomprom is expected to produce about 11,000 tons or uranium, more than either Canada or Australia, with profits expected to be $500 million, Dara said.

Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=784&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

Kazakhstan could build first nuclear plant ten years 0

Posted on October 23, 2011 by Alex

Kazakhstan could build its first nuclear power plant within the next ten years, Interfax reported, citing the deputy head of the national nuclear company Kazatomprom, Sergey Yashin. Yashin said that work on the country’s first nuclear power plant was already in progress.

“In the near future we will need to identify the role and place of nuclear power in the country’s energy balance, determine the locations for [the  power plant] building sites, choose the best nuclear technology,  primarily in terms of safety, and also settle a vast number of issues, from personnel training […] to the participation of Kazakh companies in the construction,” Interfax quotes Yashin as saying.

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/wp-content/files/srikznewsbrief_oct19_2011.pdf

Uranium JV to raise output in 2012 0

Posted on October 23, 2011 by Alex

KATCO, a joint venture between French nuclear group Areva and Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom, plans to raise its annual uranium production to 4,000 tonnes in 2012, the Kazakhstan Today news agency reported, citing a statement issued by the company.

The joint venture reaffirmed the previously announced expansion during a visit of Areva’s president Luc Oursel to Kazakhstan on Tuesday.  Oursel and senior executives of Kazatomprom visited the venture’s mine in Tortkuduk in southern Kazakhstan.

KATCO operates two mines, Tortkuduk and Muyunkum, which use the in-situ leaching process to mine uranium.  KATCO, owned 51% by Areva and 49% by Kazatomprom, expects to produce 3,500 tonnes of uranium this year, up from 3,354 tonnes in 2010.

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/wp-content/files/srikznewsbrief_oct19_2011.pdf

Kazakhstan To Produce 1,500 Tons Of Rare Earth Metals In 2012 – Official 0

Posted on October 09, 2011 by Alex

By Christopher Pala & contributing to Dow Jones Newswires, September 26, 2011

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -(Dow Jones)- Kazakhstan, fresh from becoming the world’s top of uranium producer, plans to produce a first batch of 1,500 metric tons of rare earths next year as it enters the race to compensate the shortfall of Chinese exports, a senior official said Monday.

The 15-odd rare earths “will be in the form of bulk concentrate” assembled at a joint venture called Summit Atom Rare Earth Company (SARECO) that was established last year with Japan/s Sumitomo Corp. (SSUMY), said Sergey Dara, director of strategic development at Kazatomprom, the state nuclear company that also oversees rare earths and rare metals.

They will be exported to Japan and other countries.

Separately, Kazatomprom and Toshiba Corp. (6502.TO) “will shortly establish another joint venture called KT Rare Metals Company to produce rare metals,” Dara said. Initially, it will cooperate with Kazatomprom’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant, located in Usk Kamenogorsk, in eastern Kazakhstan.

Dara spoke a few days after presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan and Nicolas Sarkozy of France signed in Paris an agreement to create a strategic partnership between Kazatomprom, the French Bureau for Geological and Mining Research (BRGM), France’s public institution in earth science applications, and the Paris-based European Company of Monitoring and Strategic Consulting (CEIS), a private firm.

The agreement paves the way for cooperation in studying the geology, extraction and distribution of rare and rare earth metals, along with the feasibility of mining and processing them.

In March, Kazatomprom’s Chairman, Vladimir Shkolnik, signed a memorandum of understanding with Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ), the mining arm of Russia’s nuclear holding company, Rosatom, to jointly produce rare metals and rare earths.

Shkolnik noted at the time that global demand for rare earths stands at 130,000 tons a year and domestic demand in China, the leading producer, is expected to exceed its output, creating a global shortage. “This is exactly the right time to enter the market and become a major player,” he said.

Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=782&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – October 3, 2011 0

Posted on October 03, 2011 by Alex

ENERGY:

Kashagan moving towards first oil 
(SRI) – The Western-led consortium developing the giant Kashagan oil field is working towards commissioning its facilities to launch commercial production in 2012, the Panorama business weekly reported on Friday.

BMB Munai announces cash dividend from Emir Oil deal (SRI)

Kazatomprom ups 2011 uranium output forecast (SRI)

Ukrainian companies interested in participating in hydrocarbon exploration and production projects in Kazakhstan (Interfax)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

BTA makes $175-million payment on trade finance loan (SRI)

Ex-Im Bank lends $425 million to Kazakhstan’s railways (SRI)

Foreign debt rises by 5% in first half – central bank (SRI)

Tsesnabank to raise $37 million (SRI)

Asian Development Bank to provide local-currency financing to Kazakh SMEs (SRI)

Kazakhstan important link between China and Europe (Trend)

KazAviaSpektr to launch an agricultural plane plant in December in Karaganda (Interfax)

Indicators – September 30, 2011 (Reuters)

METALS AND MINING:

Kazakhmys begins share buyback program (SRI)

Fortis Mining granted halt pending Potash Salt Deposits geological report (Proactive Investors)

SOCIETY:

Top Kazakh Muslim cleric raps tough new religion law, warns of extremism (Reuters)

Kazakh strikers demand apology from president’s son-in-law (RFE/RL)

REGIONAL:

Moscow strives to clarify vision for Central Asian alliance (EurasiaNet)

In post-Soviet Central Asia, Russian takes a backseat (RFE/RL)

Obama, Uzbek leader discuss Afghan supply route (Reuters)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/10/03/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-october-3-2011/



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