Kazakhstan seeks presence in potash market with $3.8 billion China investment

Dec 14. Reuters. ASTANA

By Raushan Nurshayeva

Kazakhstan seeks presence in potash market with $3.8 billion China investmentKazakhstan aims to become an important player in the world’s potash fertilizer market after securing billions of dollars in financing from China on Sunday, a senior Kazakh official said.

The central Asian country is better known internationally for its vast reserves of oil and metals, but is keen to expand its presence in other areas, while China wants to tap global resources such as fertilisers.

Kazakh Investment and Development Minister Aset Isekeshev told reporters China would invest $3.8 billion in the development of Kazakhstan’s potash deposits and in fertilizer output, aiming to increase production to 7 million tonnes in 2025 from a current 1 million.

“This will be a very big project, taking into account the world’s general potash fertilizer demand of 45 million tonnes, of which 7 million tonnes will be produced here in 2025,” Isekeshev said.

Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Kazakh counterpart Karim Masimov oversaw the signing, part of a package of economic agreements between the two neighbors which Li estimated at a total of $14 billion.

Isekeshev said Kazakhstan Potash Corp, which is controlled by Chinese businessmen, would start building two potash plants in 2015-16, creating 5,000 jobs.

Kazakhstan Potash had in 2011 acquired rights to develop the Chelkarskaya deposit in the West Kazakhstan region and the Zhilyanskoe deposit in the Aktobe region in the northeast of the country, the company said on its website.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Chinese state-owned investment company CITIC signed the financing agreement with Kazakhstan’s government and Kazakhstan Potash in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Other agreements signed in Astana on Sunday included an accord between the two countries’ central banks on mutual payments in their two currencies and on currency swaps to facilitate their trade which is growing by 20 percent a year.

China is Kazakhstan’s main export destination and is its second-largest foreign trade partner. Kazakhstan is China’s second-largest trade partner in the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.


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China, Kazakhstan to sign $10 billion in deals including oil, infrastructure: Xinhua

Dec 14. Reuters. BEIJING

China is expected to sign 30 cooperative agreements worth $10 billion with Kazakhstan as Premier Li Keqiang begins his first official visit to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.

Xinhua did not give details, but quoted Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping as highlighting a joint-venture logistics base and urging interconnectivity with highways, railways, ports, air routes, oil and gas pipelines.

“The Sino-Kazakh cooperation is developing rapidly. The volume of trade between the two countries is increasing annually by 20 percent,” Xinhua quoted Li as saying in an article.

Kazakhstan has become China’s second largest trade partner in the Commonwealth of the Independent States, while China is the second largest trade partner and the largest export market of Kazakhstan, Li was quoted as saying.

Li will also visit Serbia and Thailand, but some of the most touchy topics he could encounter are off the agenda, including the fate of Muslims from western China who have fled to Southeast Asia.

Li’s trip, from Dec. 14 to 20, also takes in summits with Eastern European, Central Asian and Southeast Asian leaders.


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National atomic company “Kazatomprom” announces signing Agreement on cooperation in nuclear energy industry with China General Nuclear Power Corporation

December 15. KASE

National atomic company “Kazatomprom” JSC (Astana), whose bonds are officially listed on Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE), has provided KASE with the following press-release:

On December 14, 2014, within the framework of the meeting of Kazak-Chinese Business Council, in the presence of the Prime-Ministers of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People’s Republic of China the Agreement on extensive and more intensive mutual cooperation in nuclear power was signed between NAC Kazatomprom JSC and China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC).

The agreement was signed by Nurlan Kapparov, CEO of NAC Kazatomprom JSC, and Zhang Shanming, General Manager of CGNPC.

The agreement makes provisions for the development of strategic cooperation in the fields of uranium resources development, nuclear fuel production, peaceful uses of nuclear power, and transiting of uranium products through China and Kazakhstan.

Establishing of joint venture for the production of fuel assemblies (FA) in Kazakhstan for the needs of Chinese NPPs is planned under the Agreement. FA manufacturing output is expected to reach 200 tones expressed as enriched uranium with further expansion of production for the third countries.

It should be reminded that since 2006 the parties have been actively promoting cooperation in joint development of uranium resources, natural uranium supplies and production of fuel pellets. Kazakhstan and China have established and jointly operate the uranium-producing enterprise “Semizbai-U” LLP in the territory of Kazakhstan.


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Kazakhstan and China expand cooperation in the oil and gas industry

Dec 15. Kazpravda

The JSC “NC” KazMunaiGas” and the Chinese National Petroleum Company signed an agreement on expansion of technical cooperation in the oil and gas industry.

It was reported on the website Primeminister.kz with reference to the Fund “Samruk-Kazyna.

The JSC “NC” KazMunaiGas” and the Chinese National Petroleum Company signed the agreement on expansion of technical cooperation in the oil and gas industry in the frames of the Kazakhstan-China Business Council with participation of the heads of government of the two countries.

“The agreement provides for cooperation in the fields of the South Turgai basin in order to increase oil recovery from the Kumkol South deposit”, – it is said in the statement.

According to the Fund “Samruk-Kazyna”, this field is developed by a joint venture between the parties – JSC “PetroKazahstanKumkolResorsiz” (PKKR) through the implementation of a pilot experiment on polymer pumping (injection of polymer solutions). In the case of a positive result of the experiment the companies will consider the possibility of applying this technology to other fields in the South Turgai basin.

“In addition, as part of this document the companies agreed to conduct research to improve oil production on layers by selective injection of water into oil horizons on the Kalamkas field developed by a joint venture between the parties – JSC” Mangistaumunaigas “- it is specified in the statement.

In addition, an agreement was reached on cooperation in gas utilization in the Kyzylorda region through conducting research on the processing of associated gas into liquid hydrocarbons.  In case of positive results of the study, the parties will support the project of gas chemistry in the region.