Kazakhstan, India Jointly Build New Ferroalloy Plant

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Kenes Rakhisev, chairman of Board of Directors at Kazakhstan’s Fincraft Resources, and Sandeep Jajodia, managing director of Indian holding company Monnet Group, reached an agreement to jointly establish a ferroalloy plant in Kazakhstan. A memorandum of understanding was signed in Astana on December 14, 2022. The plant is ceremoniously named TB Alloys Kazakh Limited.

The new plant is envisioned to be constructed in the industrial zone of Taraz city with the company has already started preparation works. Taraz is the administrative seat of Jambyl region in the south of the country near the border with Kyrgyzstan.

Initially, the plant will have an annual capacity of up to 50,000 tons of ferrosilicon which will be upgraded in stages to reach up to 100,000 tons per year.

“The implementation of the Fincraft Resources project together with Monnet Group will attract foreign investment into the economy of Kazakhstan, as well as create jobs in the city of Taraz,” Rakhisev said in a statement.

Rakhisev added that the agreement stipulated that most of the investments in the project are provided by the Indian side, indicating the investment attractiveness of Kazakhstan’s economy and favorable conditions for foreign investors in the Central Asia country.

The total amount of investment will be US$125 million.

Monnet Group is a large diversified industrial holding with interests in mining, steel production, ferroalloy production, coal processing, energy, logistics, real estate, etc.

Rakishev, the majority shareholder of Fincraft Resources, also owns Fincraft Group LLP, which operates in seven countries around the world.

Kazakhstan is endowed with abundant mineral resources including coal, ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Kazakhstan is the world’s largest uranium producer (33% of world output in 2021, USGS), as well as having extensive coal, gold, and manganese reserves. The mining sector accounts for an estimated 17% of GDP and in 2021 hard minerals and metals made up approximately 16% of the country’s exports by value.

The country has the world’s 8th largest reserves of iron ore with 12.5 billion tons.  The nation ranks second, globally, in manganese ore reserves, estimated at 600 million tons.  The country’s current reserves of copper are estimated at 36 million tons.  Kazakhstan also hosts 30% of the worldwide chromite ore deposits, as well as 95% of the total chromium reserves.

In addition, the companies are discussing opportunities for cooperation in other sectors of the economy.

During the meeting, the prospects for the implementation of long-term and strategically important investment projects were considered.

This confirms India’s interest in establishing cooperation with Kazakhstan in critical sectors of the economy such as energy, petrochemicals and renewable energy.

Such interests from the Indian side were evident when chairman of Indian multinational holding company Adani Group, Gautam Adani met with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana on Dec. 13, 2022.  

Tokayev welcomed Adani Group’s plans to develop transport infrastructure in the region. He also noted that Kazakhstan makes efforts to diversify transport routes and develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR).

Adani, India’s richest and the world’s third richest man, for this part, told Tokayev that the conglomerate was interested in establishing cooperation with the Kazakh side in other key sectors of economy, including energy, petrochemistry, and renewable energy resources.

In addition to meeting Tokayev, Adani also met Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov where they discussed the possibilities of implementing projects in sectors such as transport and logistics, energy, mining and metallurgical complex, petrochemicals, and agriculture.

Smailov stressed that all these areas are priorities for Kazakhstan’s economy.

In turn, Adani noted that the Adani Group was primarily interested in projects on developing civil aviation, petrochemical sector, transport and logistics infrastructure, renewable energy and production of green hydrogen.

“We are interested in long-term investments, and we would like to know what opportunities we have in Kazakhstan and what projects may be of common interest to us. We are determined to work very actively,” Gautam Adani said.

Earlier on Sept. 6, 2022, steel giant ArcelorMittal executive chair Lakshmi Niwas Mittal said the company would invest $1 billion in Kazakhstan to modernize production during his meeting with Tokayev.

ArcelorMittal Temirtau, part of ArcelorMittal Group, is Kazakhstan’s largest mining and metallurgical enterprise. It includes a steel plant in Temirtau, eight coal mines in the Karaganda Region, and four iron ore mines in the Akmola, Karaganda, and Kostanai regions.

During the meeting, Tokayev and Mittal discussed the company’s steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the domestic market needs through the efficient supplies of ArcelorMittal Temirtau products.

Tokayev pointed out the importance of the company’s compliance to ensure safe work conditions, fair wages for local citizens, social obligations, and modernization of the technical base.