Business News in Brief

Leroy Merlin, the largest French retailer selling home and interior products, building materials, and repair and garden products, opened its first supermarket in Kazakhstan in Almaty Aug. 1, according to informburo.kz. The company has invested approximately 8 billion tenge (US$22.3 million) and plans to open 20 more shops across the country over the next 15 years. Its first shop in Kazakhstan, which provides jobs for 370 workers, offers more than 30,000 goods, which are 30 percent made in Kazakhstan. Prior to opening a store in Almaty, the company had more than 464 shops in 12 countries. Established in 1923, Leroy Merlin ranks first in Europe in terms of goods turnover.

An Almaty waste sorting plant currently in the final stage of construction has started working in a technical mode. The facility, with a production capacity of 550,000 tonnes of waste a year, is worth 5.4 billion tenge (US$15 million) of private investments. “Taking into account the fact that the city produces around 600,000 tonnes of waste annually, we plan to provide solid waste sorting for all of Almaty,” said Investment Company Director Dmitrii Danilchenko. The company intends to produce 50,000 tonnes of cardboard, cellophane, glass, plastic and metal to be sold as raw materials to other companies.

A camel and mare milk processing plant in the Turkestan region will be launched by the end of August, according to 24.kz. The facility, worth 7.5 billion tenge (US$21 million), will employ 80 people, including 10 Chinese experts, and process up to 100 tonnes of  milk each day. The plant will make milk powder, one tonne of which requires 15 tonnes of milk. The powder is ready for consumption after adding water. “Initially, we plan to export our product to China; then, we want to expand to Europe, the U.S. and Australia,” says Zhazira Ozatkyzy, the plant’s deputy director.

The Kazakh-British Technical University, located in Almaty, is slated for privatisation Nov. 6, reports kapital.kz. Currently, the school is 100 percent owned by Kazmunaygas, Kazakhstan’s national oil and gas company. The reserve price is set at 11,364 million tenge (US$32 million); the minimum payment required to participate in the auction is 72.1 million tenge (US$201,500). Buyers are allowed to make payments in installments, however, they are obliged to maintain the profile of the institution and ensure at least a 50 percent share of Kazakh personnel in the university for 10 years. Established in 2001, the university occupies a 7,000 square metre building constructed in 1957. The total area of the land lot, however, is 33,700 square metres.

A copper cathode plant started functioning in testing mode in the Karaganda region and produced the first samples of its goods. The 14 billion tenge (US$39.2 million) project is capable of producing 9,000 tonnes of copper cathode, all of which will be later exported. The plant, with equipment from France, Finland, Israel and Italy, employs 550 workers. The technology used at the facility allows ore with low copper concentrations to be processed and is one of the most environmentally friendly processes in metallurgy, noted for its minimal emission of harmful substances into the environment.

Composite Group, a Russian holding producing cooling radiators for automobiles and agricultural machinery and other agricultural equipment, has finished building its tractor manufacturing plant in Kostanai, reports abctv.kz. The facility, capable of producing 3,000 tractors under the brand name Belarus, as well as 100,000 heat exchangers, will be located in Kostanai’s industrial zone and employ 150 local workers. The investment volume will total 2 billion tenge (US$5.6 million). Another Russian company, Sibeko, intends to build a plant producing seats for different means of transport in the industrial zone. The 1.6 billion tenge (US$4.5 million) project will be capable of manufacturing 170,000 seats annually.