Business news in brief

The Ministry of Industry and New Technologies jointly with the National Agency for Technological Development launched an innovative bus June 23, with the aim of finding new ideas and technological solutions in the Kazakh regions.“The bus will travel to all regions of our country in search of the best inventors. In the entire history of the competition we have found more than a thousand innovators from different regions of our country. For the convenience of the innovators, for the first time this year, we opened the front offices of the competition at the entrepreneurship service centres of the entrepreneurship development fund Damu in all regional centres and the cities of Astana and Almaty, where each interested inventor can get advice or apply for the competition,” Deputy Minister of Industry and New Technologies Yerlan Sagadiyev said during the launch ceremony. According to him, the winner will receive a prize of 7.5 million tenge (US$40,863). Prizes for second and third places will amount to 2.5 million tenge (US$13,621) and 1.5 million tenge (US$8,172), respectively. The bus is equipped with a 3D printer and 3D scanner, which innovators can use to test their inventions on the spot. The bus will visit all regional centres for a month for the purpose of informing the population about the competition and attract applicants. Experts from the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and National Agency for Technological Development will meet with the authors of the innovative ideas. During the meetings, inventors can present their projects and apply for participation in the competition. According to the National Agency for Technological Development, about 4,000 innovations and projects have been identified in the last four years, 555 of which got practical assistance worth 12.5 billion tenge (US$68,105,133). Of those, 213 innovative grants totaling 9.6 billion tenge (US$52,304,742) were issued.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the new ferroalloy plant TNK Kazkhrom, June 23, while on a working visit to the Aktobe region. The head of state was informed about the project of creating a ferroalloy plant and upon completion of his visit, Nazarbayev carried out the ceremonial launch of the first melting furnace. The President congratulated the staff with the launch of a major new production, wishing them success and prosperity. The design capacity of the plant is 440,000 tonnes per year of high carbon ferrochrome, with the release of 226,500 tonnes scheduled through the end of this year. The number of jobs in the company approaches 500.

According to a government decree published June 21, the Kazakh government has included the Karazhanbas oilfield, in the Mangistau region, on the high viscosity list and reduced the tax rate on mining. According to the document, the field is included on the list of hydrocarbon raw materials attributable to the category of low-margin, high-viscosity and watered. The decree noted that the field is included due to the high viscosity oil, which at reservoir conditions makes from 378 to 541 MPa per second. In accordance with the decree signed June 18 by Prime Minister Karim Massimov, part of the field set the tax rate on mineral extraction tax (MET) at 0.5 percent. The decision did not indicate the previous severance tax rate, but according to the current tax code, the severance tax on crude oil, including gas condensate, is dependent on the volume of annual production ranging from 5 to 18 percent. The Karazhanbasmunay company produces oil at Karazhanbas, located in the northwestern part of the Buzachi Peninsula. It is one of the three leading oil producing companies in the Mangistau region. The owners of Karazhanbasmunay are the Kazakhstan company KazMunayGas and Chinese state corporation CITIC Group.

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