Business News in Brief

Kazakhstan’s first liquid fertiliser plant, worth 50 million tenge (US$153,150), was launched in the North Kazakhstan region, reports inform.kz. The plant, capable of producing 140 tonnes of liquid fertiliser per day, uses granular carbamide and ammonium nitrate as input materials. The materials are quickly absorbed by crops and the liquid form allows the fertiliser to be dispersed evenly. Fertiliser use can help increase the yield of any crops by three to five centners per hectare, said North Kazakhstan First Deputy Akim (Governor) Aidarbek Saparov. Similar facilities will be launched in several districts in the region next year.

Italy’s Cremonini Group has begun construction of its Kazak-Beef meat plant, according to kapital.kz. The plant will have a daily production capacity of 700 heads of cattle and 25,000 tonnes of beef per year and will include a full cycle of butchering, meat processing and manufacturing of prepared meat products as well as processing horns, hooves and hides. The Almaty regional administration has provided 60 hectares for the construction of the plant worth more than 15 billion tenge (US$46 million). The location was chosen based on Almaty’s favourable climate conditions as well as the concentration of meat cattle. About 70 percent of the plant’s production will be exported to China and Russia.

CITIC Kazyna Investment Fund, an investment fund owned by Kazakhstan’s Kazyna Capital Management and China’s CITIC Capital with market capitalisation of $200 million, sold its share in the Arctic Green Energy (AGE) project for $30 million. This deal allowed the fund to almost double its initial investment and keep an 11 percent share of the company. Given that AGE is planning an initial public offering, there are prospects for the fund’s share to increase in value. AGE is a global project established to implement Iceland’s experience of using geothermal and other renewable energy in foreign countries, including in Asia. Kazyna Capital Management pays special attention to initiatives related to renewable energy sources and plans to participate in a variety of projects based on green technologies, said the company chairman, Askar Dostiyarov.

A plant producing mineral water in the Aktobe region has restarted after sitting idle since the 1990s. Mineral Water Kazakhstan invested more than 780 million tenge (US$2.4 million) to launch the plant again. The water, taken from underground reserves in the Shalkar district, was popular during Soviet times and was sold in pharmacies. Now, its mineral water will be sold again, under the Shalqar brand. Modern Italian equipment will allow the production of 45,000 litres of mineral water and 75,000 litres of still water in plastic and glass bottles per day, as well as help maintain the water’s structure and special qualities. The re-launch has also provided jobs for 40 people.

The management of China’s Qifeng New Material company met with the chair of Kazakh Invest in Astana to discuss a project to produce pulp and paper from reeds, reports inform.kz. The Qifeng plans to spend $320 million to produce more than 200,000 tonnes of products and employ 2,000 workers. The production process will use eco-friendly technology without chlorine to bleach the paper. The Chinese company was briefed on deals for foreign investors during their visit and agreed to tour several regions with Kazakh Invest to find a venue for the project. Qifeng New Material is the world’s leading manufacturer of decorative paper and wallpaper, exporting products to more than 30 countries.

Kazakhstan’s Investment Fund, a subsidiary of Baiterek National Holding transferring problematic assets to business, sold the facilities of a functioning meat processing plant in Schuchinsk, Akmola region, for approximately 524 million tenge (US$1.6 million) to KazBeef Processing. The facilities, which use German equipment, are capable of butchering up to 10 tonnes of cattle and processing more than 3 tonnes of meat a day or 1,500 tonnes of meat and 1,500 tonnes of meat products per year. The buyer has already launched production and created 48 jobs. KazBeef Processing plans to sell its products in Kazakhstan and Russia.

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