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Kazakhstan's chemical industry eyeing investors from China, Korea and Europe

22 october 2014, 23:22

Kazakhstan is launching a special economic zone for chemical projects in its southern region and looking to attract investors from China, South Korea and Europe, Tengrinews reports.

The chemical economic zone project initiated by United Chemical Company, a Kazakh state-owned company established in 2009, presented the project to Almaty businessmen earlier this month. The United Chemical Company is spearheading the chemical industry part of Kazakhstan's Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development Program called to stimulate development of processing and high value added industries in Kazakhstan, help it diversify its revenues sources and overcome its dependence on raw materials.

The decision to create the Chemical Park was taken and signed into effect back in 2012. But, according to the SEZ Chemical Park Taraz Managing Director Gabdy Bekbauov, the park will become operational only in 2017.

Kazakhstan's Zhambyl Oblast has traditionally been a producer of chemicals in Kazakhstan, and this is the main reason behind the choice of place. The 5 square km industrial part will be located 15 km from the town of Shu. "The zone will be surrounded by a sanitary belt, besides the infrastructure will be constructed in full compliance with the safety requirements for chemical industries," Director Bekbauov said.  

The zone will be connected to Merke-Burylbaitap highway and get a 6.4 km railway link. Water will be supplied from the nearby Tasotkel water reserve. 

The park is going to accommodate 16 new chemical plants totally worth $2.7 billion that will create over 2400 new jobs. They are going to focus on production of rubber and plastic goods, nonmetallic mineral products, fertilizers, and other kinds of chemical raw materials.

To make the economic zone attractive to chemical companies it is offering zero tax and customs duties and a simplified procedure for export and import operations. The preferences will remain in effect for 25 years. Besides, land plots in the special economic zone will be allocated free of charge to both local and foreign participants, according to Director Bekbauov.

Two Kazakhstani companies have already agreed to set up productions in the zone. Chinese and South Korean companies have also expressed interest, while negotiations with European companies are underway. SEZ management hopes to ink agreements with some of the interested companies by the end of 2014.

By Tatyana Kuzmina, (Dinara Urazova contributed to the story)

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