20th Anniversary Of China-kazakhstan Energy Cooperation
This year marks the 20th anniversary of China-Kazakhstan energy cooperation.
Trade in energy now accounts for 30 percent of bilateral trade between the two countries, said Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan during an interview in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan in June.
The output of crude oil which Chinese companies have developed in Kazakhstan accounts for 25 percent of the country’s total output. Kazakhstan has exported more than 100 million tons of crude oil and 183 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China.
Kazakhstan boasts rich oil and gas reserves, while China has a huge market for energy. The energy sector has been the main focal point for bilateral cooperation for a long time, and related cooperation has been accelerated since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Economic Belt in Astana in 2013.
Kazakhstan is also rich in solar and wind energy resources, which can form a complementary advantage with China’s advanced technologies, said Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev, who thinks that the two countries also have broad prospects for cooperation on new energies.
So far, China has invested nearly US$43 billion in Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan has become China’s largest investment destination along the Belt and Road routes.
In 1997, China National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC), the country’s largest oil and gas producer and supplier, purchased a 60.34 percent stake in AktobeMunaiGas, marking the beginning of Chinese oil companies’ investments in Central Asia. CNPC AktobeMunaiGas (CNPC AMG) now owns five oilfields, two gas fields and one oil exploration block in Kazakhstan. It has been reputed by the heads of state of the two countries as a model for bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Since then, CNPC has signed a further six deals.
Statistics show that by the end of 2015, a total of 2,749 Chinese companies had registered in Kazakhstan, ranking third among foreign-invested firms in the country. Chinese businesses are mainly engaged in exploration and development, oil and gas pipeline construction and operation and gas station network operation, creating a great number of jobs for local people.
The China-Kazakhstan Crude Oil Pipeline runs 2,833 kilometers from Atyrau in Kazakhstan to Petro China Dushanzi Petrochemical Company via the Alataw Pass in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Oil imports through the pipeline hit the 100-million-ton mark on March 29.
Bilateral cooperation on clean energies and international production capacity is also booming. Both sides have carried out pragmatic cooperation in nuclear power and hydropower, and production capacity will be fostered as a new growth point for bilateral cooperation.
In 2015, CGN Uranium Resources Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN), and Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom, agreed to jointly build a nuclear fuel assembly plant in Kazakhstan. In 2016, HydroChina Corp, a subsidiary of the Power Construction Corporation of China, signed the contract to construct the 200-MW Badamsha wind power plant in Kazakhstan.