Friday, September 12, 2008

UAE's Mubadala plans Kazakhstan smelter

Original Article

abu dhabi/ almaty — Kazakhstan and private investors from the UAE plan to build a $2 billion power plant in the Central Asian nation, after the government called for an increase in electricity production.

The construction of 2,000-megawatt plant in the Kushmurun coal basin may start next year, Deputy Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeev told reporters in Almaty on Thursday. He declined to elaborate.

Kazakhstan, the second-largest energy producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia, must spend 2.7 trillion tenge ($22.6 billion) through 2015 to increase power production by two-thirds, the Energy Ministry said last October. Private investment in electricity should be encouraged, Shukeev said.

“Private investments require a guaranteed tariff, and we shall solve the issue by providing an individual tariff for investment projects,” Shukeev said. The government expects domestic electricity demand to expand more than six per cent a year through 2011.

Aluminium smelter

Mubadala has agreed to build a multi-billion dollar aluminium smelter complex in Kazakhstan, the Central Asian country’s ambassador said on Thursday.

Askar Mussinov said that the total estimated UAE governmental and private investment in Kazakhstan would reach about $35 billion over the next five years. He did not give the exact value of the smelter.

Officials of Mubadala, an investment arm of UAE member Abu Dhabi which manages $10 billion in assets, were not immediately available to comment. UAE firms have stepped up investments in petroleum, petrochemical, agricultural and other projects in Kazakhstan. —

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