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Kazakhstan supports Caspian Energy Hub

  Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbaev backed the Caspian Energy Hub project at the meeting with the investors in Astana on Thursday, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported.

The chairman of the board of directors of PFC Energy International, Vahan Zanoyan, said that investors “despite the global crisis that has affected everyone are ready to embark on the project.”

“The technical and economic assessment of building the engineering infrastructure of the Caspian energy hub on 1,200 hectares of land along the Caspian Sea not far from the town of Aktau will be completed by this April.

Funding will then be allocated and the construction of the external engineering infrastructure will begin,” Krymbek Kusherbayev, chief of the Mangistau region, western Kazakhstan, said at a briefing after the meeting.

Zanoyan said the project would consist of a few technological stages.

“The first stage entails building the infrastructure only. The investments at the first stage which will presumably take 18 months are estimated at $400 million,” he said.

“The total investment in construction of all facilities will amount to $15 billion, while the implementation of the entire project may take from 7 to 8 years,” Zanoyan said.

Caspian Energy Hub project participants: Gulf Finance House (GFH), PFC Energy International, Samruk-Kazyna Fund, Mangistau investment company and Dunie Stock Energy signed the respective agreement this spring.

Caspian Energy Hub is designed to incorporate a number of think tanks.

The hub will include a science and technological park, a geophysical data lab, technical manpower training center, IT development center, environment research center and a center of renewable energy source and infrastructure for oil service companies. The concentration of energy companies in a regional cluster is expected to be beneficial for the sector.

SamrukKazyna CEO Kairat Kelimbetov said in December 2008 that the Kazakh hub will be similar to the analogues operating in the Persian gulf and Norway.

The project is aimed at developing the intellectual infrastructure for the oil and gas western regions for training professional personnel, the lack of which hinders the development of the Capstan region. (Interfax-Kazakhstan)