WEST KAZAKHSTAN REGION – The huge Karachaganak oil and gas field is one of the West Kazakhstan region’s most significant sources of wealth, and the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. (KPO) operating it is contributing significantly to the social reconstruction of the region, as evidenced by numerous industry awards and recognitions at the highest level. Regional priorities for social support are the health care, education and culture spheres, as well as infrastructure and sport, so KPO is directing its social investment there.
At the end of 2013, KPO received the silver award for best social project in the Paryz national contest for social responsibility. In the regional centre, Uralsk, KPO built a secondary school for 1,200 children. This modern educational institution, meeting international standards, has five blocks with a total area of 15,000 square metres that include 48 classrooms, computer and language rooms, workshops, classrooms for military education and training, a sport complex, a library, a dining room and a medical station.
“This award is a certificate of appreciation of our company’s contribution to sustainable development in the region. Successful implementation of social projects is possible due to our fruitful cooperation and partnership with the West Kazakhstan regional authorities,” KPO General Director Damiano Ratti said.
Regional Deputy Governor Marat Karimov said that thanks to the companies working at the Karachaganak oil and gas field, 13 medical institutions, 6 gasification facilities and 17 schools have been built in the region. Previously, the KPO allocated $10 million annually for this type of infrastructure; now this amount has reached $20 million per year.KPO also contributes to the development of sport in the region and has allocated funds for the repair and reconstruction of several stadiums.
Their first large-scale sport project, put into operation in 2001, was an ice palace. The 1,800 square metre arena, the largest in the region, holds a gym and fitness rooms, a summer tennis court and a mini soccer field. The palace can hold 1,300 visitors and is designed to be converted into an exhibition and forum hall when necessary. The ice palace regularly hosts national and international competitions in power sports. In the evenings, at weekends and during school holidays, the palace is full of children and adults. In addition, a Children and Youth Sports School with figure skating, short track skating, ice hockey and weightlifting facilities was opened in the oblast centre.
KPO’s swimming pool, built in 2005, was another major social contribution. Currently, more than 400 students are training at the Children and Youth Sports School of Aquatics based at the pool. Among the school’s students are champions of national and international competitions. Students at the Nazarbayev Intellectual School and nearby secondary schools, people with disabilities and veterans visit the pool regularly. KPO is now planning the construction of a tennis facility, and building will begin soon on four indoor and four outdoor courts. Also planned is a 200-seat cultural hall in Sulykol village, Karatobe district.
Only local companies are involved in the implementation of social projects, and special attention is paid to compliance with safety regulations. The quality of building materials is strictly controlled, as meeting international standards is a major requirement of the social projects.
Other regional buildings funded and repaired by KPO include the Kazakh Drama Theatre, the Palace of Ceremonies, the Children’s Village, the Regional Philharmonic and the Ostrovsky Russian Drama Theatre, as well as social projects in Aksai city where the Karachaganak field is located. Health improvement projects also make up a significant portion of the company’s social projects.