ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev says privatization of the country’s three large oil refineries is possible only after completion of their modernization projects, Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency reported.
“In my opinion, we must modernize oil refineries first, as we must provide oil products to the domestic market first. After their modernization they will turn into highly-efficient production facilities. If we sell them now, we will sell them as assets with a history of 40-50 years at a low price,” Bozumbayev said at a meeting with Kazakhstan’s citizens on June 6.
In his words, after modernization the Atyrau oil refinery, for instance, will increase the production of light oil products from today’s 40 percent up to 92 percent.
“It means that the refinery’s oil refining efficiency will more than double, and the refinery’s price will also be different. So we must complete modernization, and then what will be the difference who supplies [fuel] to the domestic market according to the rules set by the state — a private owner or the state?” the minister said.
Kazakhstan has three oil refineries — in Atyrau, Pavlodar, and Shymkent.
Bozumbayev also said that in January-April, Kazakhstan’s oil production exceeded the forecast by 4 percent. “In the first four months of this year oil production was 26.2 million tons,” he said.
It was earlier reported that the Energy Ministry had lowered this year’s oil production plan down to 74 million tons compared to 79.5 million tons last year.