Oil region: effectively developing potential

Sept 28. Kazpravda

By Rysty ALIBEKOVA

Oil region: effectively developing potentialThe prospects of oil and gas sector, implementation of industrial innovation and housing programs and infrastructure projects, environmental conditions, and other important issues were the subjects of the progress report of Atyrau region’s governor Baktykozha Izmuhambetov at the briefing in the central communications Service under RK President.

The oblast is rich in natural resources. It is one of the fastest growing regions in the country with great economic potential. Today it produces 26% of the industrial output of the country, 40% of oil and 35% of «black gold» exported from Kazakhstan. One-fifth of investments coming to the country is the oblast’s contribution.

The main export goods

The oil-rich region is quite attractive for investors. At present, the oblast cooperates with more than 50 countries around the world. More than 400 companies with foreign participation operate on its territory, in particular, such well-known firms as the «Total», «Chevron Texaco», «Annie», «Exxon Mobil», «Lukoil» and others.

A landmark event for the region was the start of hydrocarbon production at the Kashagan field. The «Project of the century» will allow Kazakhstan to become one of the largest suppliers of oil in the world and, of course, will bring huge economic benefits to the development of both the region and the country as a whole.

– Kashagan field is the largest discovery in the last 40 years all over the world. At the peak of construction, the project involved about 42 thousand people from more than 70 countries, 80% of them are the citizens of Kazakhstan. As can be seen, the economic potential of the region is high and is mainly concentrated in the oil sector, — stressed in his speech the head of the region Izmukhambetov.

Presenting the main results of socioeconomic development, the regional governor cited the following data. The gross regional product in 2012 reached 3 trillion 292 billion, or about 11% of the republican GDP. The gross regional product per capita in 2012 was 6 million tenge. In this indicator Atyrau is a steady leader among the regions.

For 8 months of the current year over 21 million tons of oil, 10 billion cubic meters of associated gas was produced which respectively is by 11.5 and 15% more than in the same period in 2012.

Not oil alone

And although the «black gold» is the main export commodity of the country, withdrawal from dependence on natural resources, diversification of economy, and implementation of the State Program of Accelerated Industrial-Innovative Development are priorities for the oblast.

Industrial renewal of economy involves implementation of 34 projects, of which two projects are included in the Republican map of industrialization, and 32 — in the regional industrialization map. Thus, a complex for the production of aromatic hydrocarbons is being built on the base of the Atyrau refinery which is currently under reconstruction within the SPAIID. A complex of deep processing of oil will be constructed there at the second phase.

In addition, it is planned to create an integrated chemical complex for the production of polypropylene and polyethylene. Now they are solving the issue with foreign investors on the first and second phases.

And a gas-chemical complex, which will produce important raw material for petrochemical industry, and the complex of aromatics hydrocarbons at the Atyrau refinery will create conditions for organization in the region of a petrochemical cluster in the framework of the second five-year plan of industrialization.

Thirty-two regional projects cover the areas of oil and gas engineering, agriculture, petroleum chemistry, construction materials. Among them are unique projects, for example, the only in the republic plant for production of disposable syringes, disposable medical gloves and systems for infusion solutions.

During the recent business trip to the oblast, the Head of State was presented a plant on production of pipe fittings worth KZT 6 billion.

As the governor said, despite the rapid growth of construction industry, so far, there was no house-building factory in the region, and consequently the price per square meter was high, and the terms of construction were long. That’s why they launched construction of a house-building plant in the oblast, which is scheduled for commissioning next year.

The work to attract potential investors for construction of wind plant, the capacity of 50 MW, as well as the introduction of small wind farms is aimed at the execution of the President’s instruction to develop «green economy».

… One of the most pressing problems in the region is provision of the oblast population with quality drinking water. In this regard, the regional authorities attracted investors to build a plant for purification and desalination of water from the fields of Bali, Zhanasu, the development of which will allow using the potential of groundwater resources.

Population’s health as priority

The environmental issues are particularly acute in the oil region, where production of hydrocarbons has big technogenic impact on ecosystem.

And the work carried out by the regional administration and subsoil users to reduce emissions to the environment plays a very important role. According to the head of the region, in the result of their joint efforts with the company «Tengizchevroil», the volume of free sulfur at the Tengiz oil field decreased from 9 million to 1 million ton.

Location of the plant “Bolashak” in the buffer zone led to resettlement of residents of Makat district to the regional center.

– Last year, we completed construction of the North-Caspian ecological base for oil spill response. Earlier this year, the base was put into operation, — said the head of the region.

According to him, they conducted a comprehensive survey of the population’s health of the oblast center and studied the impact from activities of production facilities located within the city’s limits. The main work on preserving environmental safety and improvement of its condition, according to the governor are activities to create green spaces around the city of Atyrau and surrounding areas.

Plus to this, much work is being done to upgrade the existing facilities with the use of new technologies that meet international environmental standards, which in turn also reduce the burden on the environment.

In the current year the works are carried out to dredge the rivers Ural and Sharonovka.

Much attention is paid to the problems of the Azgirsk site: 2013-2014 they plan to conduct comprehensive research of environment, radio-ecological situation and public health. Already this year, more than a hundred people of all ages from the Azgirsk zone underwent medical examination in the National Nuclear Center in Semey.

Development of entrepreneurship

Industrial potential of the region has a positive impact on the development of small and medium-sized business. Thanks to the measures of state support under the program «Business Road Map-2020?, the number of entrepreneurs is growing steadily. Thus, the number of active SME subjects in the last three years has increased by 53% and the number of employees in small and medium-sized enterprises grew by 10%. At that the villagers along with urban residents are involved in the program to promote and support entrepreneurship.

In order to attract investment in the non-oil sector they created in the SEC «Atyrau» the Center of investor services. As the speaker informed, in November this year they will hold the First International Investment Forum “ATYRAU-INVEST 2013” with participation of foreign and domestic investors.

Both development of business and attracting investments are directly depend on the development of infrastructure.

Speaking about the state of roads, the head of the oblast drew attention to two projects of regional significance. This is the road Atyrau — Inder linking the Mahambet and Inder districts with the regional center. This track, along which there are 18 settlements with the population of over 50 thousand people and 90 community facilities, has not been repaired for 35 years. At the same time Mahambet and Inder districts are the main suppliers of agricultural products, the main components of the «food belt» of the regional center.

And the second road of regional significance — Inder — Karabakh — Miyaly — Sagiz connects two remote districts of the oblast.

But the most problematic, in the opinion of the governor, are the roads of national significance. First of all it is Aktobe — Atyrau – Astrakhan, in fact, the main gate to the next Aktobe oblast and the Russian Federation. More than half of the oblast’s population is residing along this road. The number of traffic accidents indicates its poor condition. Only in 8 months, the number of road accidents increased by 41% and over 60% of these, are on the roads of national importance.

Building the Future

Construction of 46 houses with 2,130 apartments the total area of about 139 thousand square meters is planned under the program «Affordable Housing-2020?.

In the current year over 22 houses with 1,005 flats and the total area of almost 62 thousand square meters are scheduled for commissioning. More than 1,000 residents will obtain accommodation. The remaining 24 houses will be completed in 2014.

Currently three rental houses, including one — for the citizens who are on the waiting list, and two — for young families have been commissioned.

By the way, the housing problem is particularly acute for young people. Currently more than 1,000 young families are on the waiting list for housing in Atyrau. Therefore, local authorities this year in the framework of the program «Affordable Housing 2020? provided the allocation of 234 apartments for youth. This measure of course, will not remove fully the housing problem. In this connection, now the project «Jas Otau» is being implemented at the expense of the regional budget, under which young families will be given 90 apartments on an easing credit conditions.

In addition, a 240-apartment building for orphans, the disabled and low-income families is being built.

As it was noted at the press conference, 201 young specialists received invitation to work in rural communities on the program «With diploma — to the village!» this year. They are allotted settling benefits and preferential loans for the purchase of housing. At present, 724 young professionals — teachers, doctors, workers of social, culture, sport sector, veterinary medicine took advantage of this program.

During the briefing the regional governor also told about the implementation of programs to promote education, health, agriculture, sector of culture, sport, employment, and answered the questions from reporters.

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