At the briefing on Wednesday last week Deputy Akim of the Oblast Rakimbek Amirzhanov spoke about the new project. He made it clear that the construction of the refinery will be done together with Iran. Both countries have companies interested in investing in the project.
In fact, according to Deputy Akim, the Iranian side had confirmed its readiness to participate in the project. In particular, there were talks with the Iranian Ministry of Oil.
The official reminded that in the past, Iran exported five million tons of crude through the Aktau port. “The swap operation at the time was beneficial for both Kazakhstan and Iran. Now we have offered to build a refinery together. It will be located in Mangistau Oblast (in western Kazakhstan). Oil from Mangistau will be sent to the northern ports of Iran, while the southern part will provide crude oil to the oil companies of Mangistau as well as our entire country. It is in the best interests of both sides," Amirzhanov said.
Deputy Akim of the Oblast noted that given a timely allocation of money a feasibility study would be completed in the near future and an agreement for the construction would be signed by the end of the year. The estimate minimum amount of investment in the construction of the project is $6 billion.
Currently, Kazakhstan has three oil refineries - in Pavlodar, Atyrau and South Kazakhstan Oblasts. However, as Amirzhanov noted, they do not cover the market demand for petroleum products in Kazakhstan. The deficit in the country is about one and a half million tons or 30 percent of the total market. Most of the deficit is covered through imports from Russia.
Earlier, Kazakhstan was reported to give up the idea of constructing the fourth refinery. However, in December 2014, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that in times of crisis and low oil prices a new oil refinery was necessary.