Kazakhstan’s Kashagan oil field begins commercial output
Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan oil field has started commercial output, marking a milestone for the repeatedly delayed $55 billion project. The offshore field has produced about half a million tonnes (3.8 million barrels) of oil since test pumping began on 28 September, and daily output has exceeded 75,000 barrels since 1 November.
The former Soviet republic expects Kashagan to produce up to 1.1 million tonnes of oil this year and 4-8 million tonnes next year, helping Kazakhstan to offset the natural output decline seen at many mature fields.
EBRD launches pioneering index-linked Eurobond in Kazakh tenge
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched a 34 billion tenge Eurobond. The bank’s 34 billion tenge Eurobond, issued this Monday, has a five-year maturity and pays a spread of 10 basis points per annum over the 3-month Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate. The issue will settle on 21 November 2016, and is lead managed by Citi Global Markets Limited. The bonds will be cleared through Euroclear and Clearstream in tenge and listed in London.
The EBRD will also apply to the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) to seek a domestic listing for the Notes, and subsequently will request that the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) accepts them for their repurchase operations (REPO) with domestic banks, thereby increasing their liquidity.
New freight train links Inner Mongolia and Kazakhstan
Another freight train service linking northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with Kazakhstan began operations on Sunday. The 41-compartment train, loaded with production equipment, daily necessities, building materials and other commodities, left Ulan Qab in Inner Mongolia and crossed northern and north-western China before leaving the country through the Alataw Pass in Xinjiang. The 4,532km trip to Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan and a major trade centre in Central Asia, will take 8 days.
LUKOIL attracts $500 million to fund Gissar project
Russian oil company LUKOIL has attracted a loan of $500 million from a consortium of banks in order to finance the development of the Gissar gas and condensate fields in Uzbekistan.
The consortium includes Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Luxembourg S.A. (Luxembourg), Natixis (France), Mizuho Bank Ltd. (Japan), UniCredit S.p.A. (Italy), VTB Bank Deutschland AG (Germany), ING Bank N.V. (the Netherlands), AO Raiffeisenbank (Russia) and Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Austria).
LUKOIL Uzbekistan Operating Company, a subsidiary of LUKOIL, is the sole operator of the contract area.
Uzbekistan signs contracts for fruit and vegetable supply
Uzbekistan has signed 355 contracts worth over $1 billion following the first international fruit and vegetable fair, held in Tashkent in early November. According to Uzagroexport Joint Stock Company, Uzbekistan will export 1.421 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables under the agreements. Produce includes grapes, fruit, dried fruits, legumes, melons and gourds.
The contracts have been signed with companies from Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Iraq.
Chinese company to modernise chemical plant in Tajikistan
On 18 November, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rakhmon launched Phase 2 of the reconstruction and modernisation of the Azot (Nitrogen) plant in the Tajik city of Sarband. Azot is a large chemical plant operating since 1967 and had two production lines for 110 thousand tonnes of ammonia and 180 thousand tonnes of carbamide per year. The plant currently employs almost a thousand people and exports products to Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania. A total of $360 million will be invested in modernising the plant’s technological equipment and constructing new facilities for ammonia and carbamide production.
Russia and Iran discussing $10 billion arms deal
A senior Russian senator says Russia and Iran are in talks over an arms deal worth around $10 billion. Viktor Ozerov, the head of the Defence and Security Committee in Russia’s Federation Council, said on 14 November that the potential deal would see Moscow deliver tanks, artillery systems, planes and helicopters to Tehran.
Iran to spend $10 billion to build two nuclear plants
The Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, has said that $10 billion will be spent on the construction of two nuclear plants in the southern port city of Bushehr.
Salehi said the first funding instalment is due to be paid with the approval of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) within the next two weeks. Iran’s only nuclear power plant in Bushehr, which produces 1,000 megawatts of electricity, officially became operational and was connected to Iran’s national grid in September 2011.
ADB gives $120 million loan to improve water supply in Tashkent province
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $120 million loan to improve access to safe, reliable, sustainable and affordable water supply services for over 260,000 inhabitants in the Kibray and Zangiota districts of Tashkent Province.
The project will revitalise the Kadirya regional water supply system by upgrading existing water supply networks, providing potable water treatment services, rehabilitating water distribution network, and improving the financial, operational and system management of the Tashkent Provincial Suvokova for the Kibray and Zangiota district branches.
Turkmenistan to host both international cotton fair and global transport conference
Over the next fortnight, Turkmenistan is due to host both the sixth international cotton conference “Cotton Products of Turkmenistan and the global market” on 3-4 December and the UN’s “Global Sustainable Transport Conference” on 26 November. Both events will be held in Ashgabat.
Cotton is the main raw material for the textile industry of Turkmenistan and an important export product. The country supplies cotton to China, Russia, the UK, South Korea, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Singapore, Ukraine and Baltic countries. Cotton products are sold through auctions in Turkmenistan’s commodity and raw materials exchange.
In terms of transport, Turkmenistan holds a key geographical location at the crossroads of the main transport routes in Eurasia.
EBRD provides loan for water upgrade in Kyrgyzstan
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan for water upgrade in yet another Kyrgyz city, Kyzyl-Kiya, under its framework to support water and wastewater modernisation in Kyrgyzstan.
The investment will be co-financed by the European Union’s Investment Facility for Central Asia (IFCA) which also focuses on water and wastewater services and works with the EBRD to address existing challenges in the sector. Out of the total financing package of $6.7 million, the EBRD will provide a loan of up to $1.7 million to Kyrgyzstan for on-lending to the municipality of Kyzyl-Kiya. The EIB will lend $1.13 million, while the IFCA will provide a capital grant of nearly $4 million.
Germany to provide €12 billion financing for Iranian petrochemical projects
Iran says it will soon start talks with two German companies to open a major credit line of €12 billion for the development of several National Petrochemical Company projects. Germany has already pledged to open a credit line worth €3 billion for Iran’s petrochemical projects, which may increase to €6 billion. However, Iran wants to increase it to as high as €12 billion.