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New Kazakh-Korean Balkhash TPP to burn Ekibastuz coal

Balkhash Thermal Power Plant. Photo courtesy of munaigaz.kz Balkhash Thermal Power Plant. Photo courtesy of munaigaz.kz
Balkhash Thermal Power Plant will be burning coal from Ekibastuz coal basin, Tengrinews citing Vice-Prime-Minister, Minister of Industry and New Technologies Aset Iserkeshev.
"We have repeatedly discussed this with Prime-Minister, Minister of Ecology and other leaders, including Samruk-Kazyna. Our final position is that the TPP will be fueled by coal from Ekibastuz basin, it has the capacities to supply the required amounts," Aset Iserkeshev said during a meeting in the Majilis (Lower Chamber of the Parliament) today. All the coals in the Ekibastuz coal basin are hard humus coals, with an industrial grade of WCa (weak caking). They have a high ash content, which increases with increasing depth in the coal-bearing cross section and are difficult to enrich. The ash content of coal concentrates with a density of less than 1.8 g/cm3 ranges from 28 percent (first seam) to 35 percent (third seam). At the meeting the Minister was presenting the Bill on Ratification of the Protocol between the Government of Kazakhstan South Korea and Amendments into the Agreement between the Governments of Kazakhstan and South Korea on Development, Funding, Design, Construction, Exploitation and Maintenance of Balkhash TTP as of 25 August 2011. "You reviewed the Agreement on construction of the Balkhash plant in details in spring and ratified it in April this year. The Protocol we are discussing now amends Article 2 of the Agreement and entitles the government to set the price, tariffs, scope of funding and terms of implementation of the project. South Korea has signed this Protocol, its has been coordinated with all the interested state authorities and submitted to you for consideration," he said addressing the MPs. "There are two shareholders in the project. On behalf of Kazakhstan it is Samruk Kazyna represented by its entity Samruk Energo, it holds 25 percent plus one share. The Korean Consortium holds 75 percent minus one share. "What concerns the funding, Korean participation will make 900 million dollars, and Samruk Energo will provide 300 million dollars. The funding will be provided through loans, mostly from Korean banks," Iserkeshev continued. Speaking about the general environmental impact of the TPP, and utilization of its ash in particular, the Vice-Prime-Minister said: "The ash-disposal areas are ready. We have over one billion tons of ash and slag wastes in our country. Balkhash TPP will generate 1.9 million tons more. "In Germany and other countries the ash is used to seal mines and in road construction. This issue is a priority for our Environment Protection Ministry; the required changes will be made in the laws and technical regulations to make sure that these materials are used in road construction. Some part of it will get utilized this way, but even without the utilization, the ecological regulations will be carefully observed. A natural cavity large enough to hold the waste of the first 10 year will be used to store the ash. The TPP's project life is 20 years," Iserkeshev said. After the Majilis ratifies the protocol the companies will start construction of the first block of Balkhash Thermal Power Plant. By Altaynai Zhumzhuma
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