URALSK, Western Kazakhstan Oblast, 29 July 2005 – A ceremony to commemorate the opening of a new 180-bed surgical department of the Regional Clinical Hospital, which was constructed as part of the Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. (KPO) social programme, was held today in Uralsk.

Attending the ceremony were the RoK Minister of Education and Science Birganym Aitimova, the representatives of WKO Akimat headed by the WKO Akim Nurgaly Ashimov, KPO, contractors, veterans and the medical community of Uralsk.

The construction of the surgical department was completed within a year. Total investment in the development came to $5 million.

The project has included the demolition of the existing surgery, which was in very poor condition and the construction of a new five-storey building that has met Kazakh and international quality standards and has been fully equipped with medical equipment.

Acting KPO Operations Director Nello Paterlini said: "The successful completion of the surgical department demonstrates KPO’s commitment towards social infrastructure development in Western Kazakhstan. This is a good contribution to the WKO community, and we would like to thank everyone who helped us implement this important project”.

Nello Paterlini has also handed the keys from a Gazel minivan over to the management of the Regional Hospital. The Gazel will be used to transport sterilised materials and medical instruments.

The new surgical department has six operation blocks, a central autoclave facility, an X-ray room equipped with fluoroscope, ultrasonography and physiotherapeutic rooms, clinical and biochemical laboratories and conference room for 155 seats. The building also accommodates the endoscopy department that has been fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical apparatus.

A transformer sub-station and standby diesel plant have also been built and modern telecommunication, power, heat and water supply and sewer systems have been installed. In addition, an asphalt passageway has been laid down and the project area landscaped.

The general contractor that carried out the construction was Uralsk-based company ZhaikSelStroy.

KPO invests $10 million annually towards social infrastructure projects in Western Kazakhstan, which include the construction of roads, hospitals, schools and other social facilities. During the 40-year life of the FPSA, this investment will total some $400 million.