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Kazakhstan under construction

A series of infrastructure upgrades means the time is right for British companies to get involved.

Construction in Kazakhstan is booming and the opportunities are there for UK companies willing to put in the hard work.

Earnings from the country’s oil and mineral wealth combined with poor infrastructure have created plenty of room for British firms to enter the building market.

More than a hundred UK companies or joint ventures are active in Kazakhstan and many Kazakh firms look to Britain for financial services expertise and to raise money.

Apart from spending £33bn on developing the country’s three main oil and gas fields, notable projects include: upgrading 2,800 km of road between Russia and China at a cost of £4.3bn, upgrading three oil refineries for £4.4bn, integrating oil and gas and chemicals project in Atyrau for £6.2bn, installing and upgrading new pipelines for £1bn, building and modernising five power stations and upgrading the national grid for £2.6bn, and upgrading regional airports and modernising the rail network.

“Our expertise in building, design, consultancy, project management and training seems the most obvious fit for life out here,” says Mr Wilson.

Head of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in the capital Astana, Bernie Wilson, says Kazakhstan is a fast emerging market and is awash with infrastructure development projects, especially publicly funded building.

He says the opportunities for UK companies were likely to come from high-end and technically challenging projects and the supply of advanced building materials, products or processes.

Ed Cooke is a construction partner at DLA Piper advising on development and construction in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Mr Cooke says while there is a bilateral investment treaty between Kazakhstan and the UK, understanding the country’s political, legislative and cultural background is very important. 

British Expertise director Nigel Peters says a range of UK companies would benefit from working in Kazakhstan including consultants, architects, consulting engineers, construction managers and suppliers.

“Do your research before you jump in. Understand the market, look at what projects are being talked about and visit the country,” says Mr Peters.

 

Trade mission

Construction News is organising a trade mission to Kazakhstan, in partnership with British Expertise, from 18-22 July. Meet senior decision makers for major clients and developers in this booming market.

For more information about the Trade Mission to Kazakhstan please contact editor Nick Edwards on nick.edwards@emap.com.

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