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Kazakh Content: The same old megilla (+update)

November 1 2013, 11:41

By Laura Suleimenova

On October 30 the meeting was held with participation of Timur Kulibayev, the chair of the presidium of the National Entrepreneurs’ Chamber (NEC) and managers of all major foreign companies, joint ventures and national oil companies operating in Atyrau Oblast.   

During the first part of the meeting Kulibayev introduced Asylbek  Dzhakiev, the regional chamber director and proposed the candidacy of Abai Dzhumagoulov, general director of Tengizneftestroy, to the position of the chair of the regional chamber council. After the unanimous election of the proposed candidate, the local businessmen discussed the issue of local content development in oil and gas projects, in particular, by creating joint ventures.

Serbolat of Shoraev, general director of LogicServices JV, noted that state agencies very often publicly voice that they support Kazakh content, but in practice they adopt rules that cause hinders to the development of local content. As an example to that are new rules of licensing in construction. According to the rule if foreign service company with the 1st category license creates a joint venture with a Kazakh company that holds the same license, then this type of joint venture is issued with the 3rd category license. This, according to Shorayev, creates obstacles for the new established joint venture when it starts to participate in tenders of oil and gas companies: it is clear that the client company will give scope of work to foreign contractor who holds the 1st category license.

Shorayev noted that NCPOC in their latest tender documents included the condition about the possibility of participation in their tenders of only those companies that at least have 50% of Kazakhstan content. Such conditions favours to the creation of joint ventures. He also expressed the hope that TCO also would include similar condition into their tender documents, especially, in anticipation of the start of the Future Growth Project (FGP).

- Let’s take TCO as an example and consider the sphere of electrical construsion activities where we work. TCO provides scopes, mainly, to foreign companies. And the situation doesn't change for years. They bring experts from overseas, they don't transfer technology to the local companies and don't train local cadre. The same thing with selection of general contractors for construction activities.  Our wish is not to attract 100% of foreign companies, who in their turns attract Turkish subcontractors. We have large construction companies in Kazakhstan who can do “turnkey” job and also involve foreign partners into the construction activities.

Aset Magauov, KAZENERGY association general director  noted a sore subject - a low percentage of Kazakh content in TCO purchases - only 3%.

Maybe due to some organizational misunderstanding, but security guards didn't allow the representatives of foreign companies to participate in the first part of meeting. They participated only in the second part. So the discussion of the Kazakh content was held without their participation. 

Personnel in demand

In the second part of the meeting the issue of Free Economic Zone (FEZ) in Atyrau Oblast was covered, as well as the issue of personnel training for petrochemical industry.

Arman Kairdenov, the representative of the  special economic zone “National industrial oil and chemical tekhnopark” and Gabit Zakariya, Polimer Production LLP director made presentations.

Zakariya presented a new construction project on the basis of FEZ - the plant for production of polymeric products. Until the start-up of gas-chemical complex, the plant will use imported raw materials (see samples on the photo). But in 2017 the plant will be using 100% the raw materials produced by KPI LLP and KLPE LLP, located virtually “behind the fence”, Zakariya said.

As Timur Kulibayev noted, today for establishment of domestic petrochemical industry that we are building practically from scratch, the main issue remains personnel training.

As Zhankeldy Seitov, the general director of “Samruk” Center of competence noted, the forecast for personnel demand for the petrochemical industry by 2020 will be 5 thousand people. However, we don’t’ have such amount of trained personnel in the region. As per the results of independent audit, 85% of employers are not happy with the quality of education received by the students of the technical faculties in Kazakhstan universities.   

In the oil and gas industry in the recent years there were 2050 accidents and 88% of them in petrochemical industry. 80% of those accidents were caused by human factor. Due to this the decision was made to create in Atyrau and Taraz the training centers for petrochemical specialists  working in FEZ.

Atyrau college ‘KasipKor” will receive 6 oil platforms with all production units installed and interactive method of teaching will be used for training of students.

To the question about the opening of the Centre for training of personnel for Atyrau gas chemical complex, Kulibayev answered that the prep works are ongoing and the Centre will receive the first students in January 2013. 250 students will receive training at 6 months courses.

“Samruk” Center of competence and “Petrofac Training International Limited” signed memo of understanding between the partners.

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