AKTAU – Plans are underway to launch 17 projects on the territory of the Aktau Seaport Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the next two years.
The SEZ, established by a presidential decree, has been operating since Jan. 1, 2003. The territory was initially only 227.1 hectares, most of which was occupied by the port expansion project to the north, and at first only three projects were implemented: ArcelorMittal, Cappell and a fibre glass pipe plant. As a result of successful development of the allocated land and investors’ interest, the SEZ has been expanded to 2,000 hectares. Seven separate plots of land in the industrial zone were allocated for SEZ purposes.
Engineering infrastructure subzone No. 3, which is the most compact on the territory, was built from 2009-2012 at a cost of 3.3 billion tenge (US$17.8 million). All networks, roads and railways were finished. The development of sub-zone No. 1 was launched in November 2012 and construction is nearing completion.
“Since the establishment of the Aktau Seaport SEZ , the total investment of the companies that are currently operating, under construction and will be introduced until 2028 is about 30 billion tenge (US$161.8 million). Production volume as of Jan. 1 amounted to 223 billion tenge (US$1.2 billion), including preferences and benefits that we provide to the participants; it does not include social taxes and emissions for the environment. Since 2007, the enterprises of the SEZ paid more than 19 billion tenge (US$102.5 million) in taxes,” said SEZ director Amirbek Tulegenov.
Today, the SEZ has 33 registered participants, nine projects implemented, including factories for the production of marine steel constructions, oil pipes, Fibreglass and insulated pipes, offshore modular containers and road building materials, and about 1,000 jobs have been created.
This year, six projects worth 8 billion tenge (US$43.1 million) will be launched: Dostyk Polymer, DSK-Aktau, Azersun Centre of Production and Logistics, Pietro Fiorintini Kazakhstan, DSK Karaoykurylys and Cha-Kur Medical Farm. The main launch of the enterprises is planned for October-November and 11 more projects are expected.
Plans are also in the works for the launch of Cha-Kur, which will produce medical infusion solutions. Construction and implementation were delayed numerous times, as the project ran into legislative difficulties since it was begun in 2008. When changes were made in the tax law and chemistry was separated from pharmacology, the plant under construction could not rely on SEZ preferences since it fell beyond its major activities. At the end of 2012, it became possible to include these activities in SEZ production. Problems then started with the workers migrating from China, who had to mount equipment and train staff.
“Installation will take about three months; commissioning, 45 days. Training of staff will take two months, so overall up to seven months are needed. It is necessary that experts from China work here all the time, but problems started in 2013. They come on a visitor visa and two months are not enough. We need two more visits. Why they do not get a work permit? The problem is that there are narrowly-focused specialists in China. A specialist, for example, assembles only one detail for many years and he is the one in the company. The diploma confirmation is required for the entrance permit, but their diplomas do not meet our standards. That’s why their specialists do not get permission,” said Tulegenov.
The SEZ now waits for the experts from China to visit twice for two-month periods and the plant will be launched this year.