29 Jan 2024 16:12

KazMunayGas, CITIC to start expanding Aktau bitumen plant in Kazakhstan

ASTANA. Jan 29 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company KazMunayGas (KMG) and China's CITIC Group have agreed to begin work at the end of 2024 to increase the capacity of the Aktau bitumen plant operated by the Caspi Bitum LLP joint venture from 500,000 to 750,000 tonnes of bitumen per year, the KMG press service said.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between the heads of KMG and CITIC Resources Holdings Limited, Magzum Mirzagaliyev and Hao Weibao, in Beijing.

"Currently, the project is at the design stage. At the meeting, an agreement was reached to begin the construction phase before the end of this year with completion of construction at the beginning of 2025," the press release following the meeting said.

The project was previously planned to be completed at the end of 2024.

The press service also reports that last week KMG signed an agreement with the national highway management operator KazAvtoZhol JSC to supply the domestic market with road bitumen.

The question of increasing the capacity of Caspi Bitum was raised back in September 2022. It was noted then that increasing the plant's capacity by 50% would increase bitumen production to 750,000 tonnes per year. It was also reported that a pre-feasibility study had already been developed, and the project was on design phase.

The Aktau bitumen plant is managed by the Kazakh-Chinese company Caspi Bitum LLP, which was established by KazMunayGas and CITIC Kazakhstan LLP on a parity basis. The plant was put into operation in 2013 in the city of Aktau in western Kazakhstan. The raw materials for the enterprise come from the oil fields of Karazhanbasmunai JSC.