China-Kazakh project to build metallurgical plant frozen in south Kazakhstan

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ASTANA (TCA) — The project to construct a metallurgical plant in the South Kazakhstan province through Chinese investments has been frozen due to the ongoing crisis, said the Chairman of Kazakhstan’s national investment and export promotion agency KAZNEX INVEST Borisbiy Zhangurazov, Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency reported.

“Yes, there was such project — production of up to a million tons of metal products in the South Kazakhstan province,” Zhangurazov said at a media briefing this week answering journalists’ questions. “The initiators have done big work preparing the project; they have conducted negotiations with Chinese contractors. But this project has now been suspended for various reasons, including due to the current unfavorable prices for metals.”

Zhangurazov voiced the hope that the situation may change. “The [south Kazakhstan] region has the resource base and necessary infrastructure, and human resources are there. So we hope that some time later the situation will become more favorable and the project will come on track,” he said.     

It was earlier reported that Chinese investors planned to invest in the metallurgical plant project at the Abailov ore deposit. Construction was estimated to cost $900 million.   

At the same media briefing Zhangurazov mentioned other major metallurgical projects implemented with Chinese companies. These are the construction of the Karaganda complex alloy plant for production of innovative metallurgical ferrosilicoaluminum alloy (the project cost is $260 million); construction of the third phase of Aluminum of Kazakhstan JSC in Pavlodar and related energy infrastructure (total cost is about $700 million); construction of a new copper smelting plant in East Kazakhstan, a joint project of KazMinerals and Baiyin Nonferrous Group (the project cost is $1.6 billion); and construction of the light rail transport system in Astana ($1.9 billion), KAZNEX INVEST reported.

Sergey Kwan

TCA