ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized the significant potential of the West Kazakhstan Region and its important role in the nation’s development during his working visit to the region on March 9, Akorda press service reported.
The region showcases its industrial development
The West Kazakhstan Region has an abundance of natural resources, including oil and gas. During his trip, Tokayev visited major oil and gas enterprises and social and educational facilities.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the West Kazakhstan Engineering Company, which manufactures high-tech equipment for extracting, processing, and transporting oil and gas and complex metal structures in Uralsk.
The company is a General Electric strategic partner for gas turbine technologies, intending to produce Fregat sprinklers for agricultural needs. Tokayev noted that increasing the share of domestic engineering products in these areas is vital given the company’s ability to make advanced equipment for energy industries.
The President’s next stop was the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating consortium (KPO), which operates the Karagachanak field. Discovered in 1979, it is one of the world’s largest gas and condensate fields, with an overall investment of $30 billion, contributing $57.4 billion to the country’s economy since its inception. Taxes, payments, and the share of production made up $45.9 billion of this total.
The consortium employs 3,800 full-time employees. Over 20,000 people are employed by 142 contractors who provide various services and products to the consortium. Since 1998, the KPO has spent $754.5 million in the region on social and infrastructure projects, including 16 hospitals and clinics, three sports and leisure facilities, 34 schools and kindergartens, theaters, and cultural centers.
The consortium’s General Director Giancarlo Ruiu presented an expansion project expected to raise liquid fraction output to 46 million tons and increase revenues to Kazakhstan and its partners. The first phase of the expansion, worth $970 million in investment, is now underway and involves the construction of a fifth gas re-injection compressor and other production facilities, which will employ 3,500 people.
The next stage, scheduled for 2023-2026, includes the construction of a sixth gas recirculation compressor, which will cost $735 million and create 1,300 new jobs.
The consortium’s partners are working with the Kazakh Energy Ministry to create a feasibility study for a new gas plant. Once commissioned, the plant is expected to increase annual production to four billion cubic meters of gas and 0.5-0.6 million tons of propane-butane fraction, considerably increasing the country’s energy potential.
President Tokayev also visited PetrolValves Kazakhstan in the town of Aksay, a joint venture of the Italian company PetrolValves S.p.A and the Kazakh Merlion Development Group. It is Kazakhstan’s sole manufacturer of high-tech valves for the oil, gas, and energy industries. The company employs 43 people, 37 of whom are local residents, and supports local oil and gas enterprises without disrupting the technological process through its Italian partner’s proprietary Valve New Life program. According to the enterprise’s director Dinar Khamiyev, the initial goal is to produce 500 valves annually.
The company plans to obtain an API 6D certificate from the American Petroleum Institute and to produce part of the components independently, progressively raising the amount of local production to 75 percent by 2024. The project is carried out with the assistance of the IMB Center, an international center for developing oil and gas engineering. Investment in the project reached three billion tenge ($6.8 million).
Tokayev underlines importance of youth
Next on the President’s itinerary was the Atameken Palace of Arts, the region’s largest cultural facility accommodating 920 people. Tokayev met with honorary residents who contributed to the region’s prosperity and individuals who have served in the emergency services. He emphasized the region’s great potential and its role in the nation’s development.
“The nation is undergoing large-scale reforms. The preservation of peace is our most important value at this pivotal moment. No hurdles will stand in our way if we all work together. If our unity is unshakable, we shall overcome adversity,” the President said.
Tokayev also visited the Youth Resource Center in Aksay and spoke with the region’s young activists. He emphasized how the town had changed since his last visit 23 years ago. The country’s future depends on the younger generation, he said, adding that the government will always support hardworking and bright young people and their ideas and efforts.
Sharing their success with the President, young activists said they are proud to work for the benefit of their native town. They also shared successful business cases and asked the President to consider providing housing for young specialists in single-industry towns.
The Aksay Youth Resource Center offers various services to local citizens, including a youth service center that helps unemployed youth find work, as well as mental health support for adolescents and young people who have endured life challenges or have been victims of domestic violence.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also met with World War II veteran Ivan Gapich, who celebrated his 100th birthday, and 96-year-old local historian and cultural figure Zhaisan Akbay. Tokayev noted that the life path of both men is an example of service, selfless work, and patriotism and expressed gratitude for their contribution to the country’s development.