19 Oct 2009 14:09

Kazakhstan to begin building Balkhash power plant in mid-2010 - PM

ASTANA. Oct 19 (Interfax) - Construction of the Balkhash Thermal Electric Station in Kazakhstan will begin in mid-2010, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov said. "Construction of the Balkhash Thermal Electric Station will begin in the middle of next year. All of the financial issues have been resolved. The entire structure is drawn up. Within a few years there will be no electricity supply problems in our nation's southern regions," Masimov said at an expanded session of the ruling Nur Otan parliamentary faction in Astana on Monday.

Masimov also said that negotiations with Russia on the Ekibastuz-2 District Power Plant (Ekibastuz GRES) "had eliminated all problems."

The Balkhash project is estimated to cost $4.5 billion. A consortium of South Korean companies and Kazakhmys will provide 75% of the needed financing and Samruk-Energo will provide 25%.

Kazakhmys and Samruk-Energo, a subsidiary of Kazakh state fund Samruk-Kazyna, signed an agreement on cooperation in implementing the project with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and Samsung, which won the tender on construction of the Balkhash plant.

KEPCO and Samsung signed an agreement to acquire 75% minus one share in the thermal power plant and a provisional agreement has been signed on the provisional participation of Kazakhmys, which is expected to have a 5%-10% stake.