Lithium mining for electric vehicles, hydropower development and construction of new vegetable storage facilities: Alikhan Smailov holds East Kazakhstan region development meeting

On Friday, October 6, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov held a meeting on further socio-economic development of East Kazakhstan region in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

Akim of the region Yermek Kosherbayev informed the participants in detail about the current situation and ongoing work on the development of the region. Representatives of central state bodies made reports on measures taken in industry, construction, housing and communal services, agriculture and health care. In addition, reports were presented on the development of gas, heat and electricity supply systems, as well as on the stabilization of food prices.

Prime Minister emphasized that the development of East Kazakhstan region economy is primarily associated with the mining industry, while there is also great potential in the spheres of energy, agro-industrial complex, logistics and tourism.

Thus, the mining and metallurgical complex accounts for about 70% of all industry in the region. As the Head of State noted in his Address to the Nation, the republic will have to modernize the management system of the mining sector as soon as possible. One of the priority tasks in this process should be the development of deposits of rare and rare-earth metals.

"In the conditions of growth in the production of electric cars, the exploration and mining of lithium metal is relevant. On the state balance sheet of East Kazakhstan region there are 6 deposits in Ulan and Shemonaikha regions and the outskirts of Ust-Kamenogorsk. There are even more undiscovered reserves. Chinese and other Asian markets, which are some of its main consumers, are nearby. To use these opportunities, the Akimat should actively attract investors in the development of deposits," Alikhan Smailov said. 

He noted that the region has developed hydropower, which is one of the renewable energy sources. At the same time, from July 1 this year the marginal auction prices for the purchase of electricity from hydroelectric power plants were significantly increased. In this regard, Prime Minister pointed out that to increase the maneuvering capacity in the energy system, the Akimat together with the owners should take measures to modernize existing hydroelectric power plants, as well as the construction of new facilities.

"To meet the local consumption of electricity and reduce the costs of losses on power transmission lines, it is necessary to actively implement projects for the construction of small hydroelectric power plants by the example of "Turgusun-1" in Altai district," Alikhan Smailov emphasized. 

As Prime Minister noted, the Government annually allocates significant funding to support domestic agricultural producers. Only for the agrarians of the region this year 43 billion tenge has been allocated from the budget, including 26 billion tenge in the form of subsidies. 

"We will continue to assist in the implementation of agro-industrial complex projects. However, I would like to note that budget funds should be used as efficiently as possible. Priority should be given to projects with the best return," he pointed out. 

In particular, it is required to intensify work with entrepreneurs on the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan for the construction and modernization of vegetable storage facilities.

"At present, we have investment subsidies of up to 50% for the construction of such storage facilities. That is, the state provides significant support measures to this sphere. It is necessary to pay attention to this and to strengthen coordination work," Prime Minister said.

Head of the Government also dwelled on the issue of regional hydraulic structures. East Kazakhstan region concentrates 40% of water bodies of the republic and has 85 thousand hectares of irrigated land. At the same time, unsatisfactory technical condition of Uideninskoye, Kandysu and Orta-Terektinskoye reservoirs, which provide water supply to the fields of agricultural formations, raises concerns.

"Akimat together with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation should accelerate the development of technical documentation for their reconstruction," Alikhan Smailov demanded. 

Along with this, Prime Minister emphasized that the favorable geographical location of the region contributes to the development of transport and logistics routes. Thus, projects on reconstruction of "Taldykorgan - Kalbatau - Ust-Kamenogorsk" highway with a length of 768 km and "Maikapchagai - Kalbatau" with a length of 415 km are already being implemented. In the future, it is planned to reconstruct "Ust-Kamenogorsk - Semey" with the length of 195 km and "Ust-Kamenogorsk - the border of the Russian Federation" with the length of 130 km. 

Alikhan Smailov also focused attention on the issues of passing the heating season. He reminded that the Government took prompt measures to allocate funds for repair and modernization of local heat sources and heating networks. 

Turning to the issue of tourism development, Alikhan Smailov spoke about the world-class attraction - Katon-Karagai National Nature Park. 

"The object is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. At the same time, the existing guest infrastructure cannot fully provide the necessary level of service," the Head of Government said. 

According to him, there are also problems with transportation accessibility. In particular, it is necessary to complete the reconstruction of the highway "Ust-Kamenogorsk - Rakhmanovskie Klyuchi". In addition, to increase the flow of tourists it is necessary to complete the repair of the highway "Ust-Kamenogorsk - Almaty" with a length of 1013 km.

In conclusion, Prime Minister noted the need to accelerate the implementation of a number of delayed projects. These include the launch of a specialized Public Service Center and construction of a bridge crossing over the Bukhtarma reservoir.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Economy #Working trip

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