The small provincial city of Zhanaozen is attracting a massive amount of investments and attention from the central government, which is paving roads and constructing buildings.
Houses and strategic venues built in western Kazakhstan are proving to be effective agents of social development. Significant investments are modernising production, constructing social centres and creating better working conditions.
On the eve of the New Year, eight families of the Kyzylsay village celebrated the New Year in their new homes. The newly-opened Mereke kindergarten has taken in 320 children. In the villages of Kyzylsay and Tenge, a new cultural centre is hosting events. And KazMunaiGaz has spent 2 billion tenge to build the largest physical education centre and gymnasium in west Kazakhstan. An old modular cluster pumping station in the town is being replaced by a new complex. New housing complexes and cafeterias are being built, as well as an industrial complex for repairing tubing, rods and pumps. A large auto-service centre with 1,000 units of special equipment is also under construction.
Zhanaozen has been reinvigorated by the building boom. The city is constructing a large, 510 million tenge three-story social centre to hold weddings and other social engagements to open next year and a new large entertainment centre. The construction programme will continue through 2020.
“In the near future, we plan to start the construction of a new Central Library and Art Centre for Pupils. In the summer, the city will have a musical fountain with colourful illumination,” Beknur Baliuly, the head of Zhanaozen’s Urban Planning and Architecture Department, said. “There will be a new ice rink, a children’s playground, new stores and a 150-seat movie theatre.”
“I am even more in love with this city, it is much more beautiful than before. It now has landscaped streets, painted houses and even the lighting on the streets is brighter,” said local resident Saule Zhumalieva.
“We stood in line for five years for an apartment. My husband works as an operator in Ozeninvest. We have three children. I am a housewife. We are grateful for such a gift for the New Year,” Almagul Konyrbaeva, the proud owner of a new apartment, said.
“We did not have a cultural centre before and famous artists did not visit us. We now have great joy. Now the villagers can come for concerts and various celebrations,” pensioner Zhaksylyk Ali from Kyzylsay told the paper.
Zhanaozen businessmen are flourishing and taking advantage of new opportunities. Serikbai Trumov, the mayor of Zhanaozen, said the city was attracting many new small and medium-sized businesses thanks to its low rents.
“Business premises can be rented for only 50,000 to 60,000 tenge. Utilities are paid out of the state budget,” he said.
New privately-owned companies are growing rapidly. In 2012, more than 7,000 of them opened in the city, a rise of 5 percent on 2011.
OzenMunaiGaz plans to invest $300 million (around KZT 42 billion) in new infrastructure for the city and another 42 million tenge to improve conditions for workers over the next three years.