China's Sinopec Finalizes Equity Deal for Kazakh Polyethylene Project
China's Sinopec Finalizes Equity Deal for Kazakh Polyethylene Project

China's Sinopec Finalizes Equity Deal for Kazakh Polyethylene Project

  • 19-Oct-2023 11:37 AM
  • Journalist: Emilia Jackson

In a significant development, China's Sinopec has entered into a pivotal equity agreement with Kazakh state-owned oil and gas corporation, KazMunayGas JSC (KMG), securing a substantial 30% stake in a planned polyethylene project situated in Kazakhstan. This strategic alliance was officially announced by Sinopec through a statement released on Tuesday.

The groundwork for this collaboration was laid earlier in May, when both companies concurred on the fundamental aspects of the project during discussions on the sidelines of the China-Central Asia summit. This endeavor, earmarked for the Atryau region in western Kazakhstan, is projected to have an annual production capacity of an impressive 1.25 million tons.

The timing of this announcement coincides with the visit of Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum. During this high-level visit, President Tokayev engaged in discussions with China's President Xi, deliberating upon avenues for further enhancing cooperation in the realms of investment and trade.

Sinopec's Chairman, Ma Yongsheng, articulated the company's plan to initiate the construction of the polyethylene plant in the latter half of 2024. In addition to this, Sinopec and KMG have also sealed a pre-feasibility joint development agreement with the objective of evaluating the viability of investing in the construction of PTA (phthalic acid) and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) manufacturing facilities within the borders of Kazakhstan, as outlined in Sinopec's official statement.

It's imperative to acknowledge that this venture is part of a broader pattern of collaboration between China's three major state-owned oil enterprises, which include Sinopec, PetroChina, and CNOOC, each of which has previously ventured into investments within Kazakhstan's dynamic oil and gas sector. PetroChina, for instance, is a member of the consortium engaged in the ongoing development of the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea, which happens to be Kazakhstan's second-largest producing oilfield. This joint endeavor features the participation of renowned Western oil majors in conjunction with Kazakh state-owned enterprise KMG.

This strategic partnership between Sinopec and KMG is emblematic of the growing ties between China and Kazakhstan in the realm of energy production and exploration. By extending their cooperation into polyethylene production, these two prominent corporations are not only advancing their own business interests but also contributing to the economic and industrial development of the region. The substantial investment involved underscores the confidence that Sinopec and KMG have in the potential of this project and the benefits it can bring to both nations.

As the construction of the polyethylene plant commences in 2024, the region can expect not only an infusion of capital but also an infusion of technology, expertise, and job opportunities. This venture holds the potential to elevate Kazakhstan's industrial landscape and boost its economic growth, marking another step in the deepening relationship between China and Kazakhstan. It is a testament to the power of international collaboration in advancing economies and creating opportunities for progress.

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