AKSAI, Western Kazakhstan Oblast, 1 December 2005 – Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. (KPO), Akimat of Burlin district and Western Kazakhstan’s Entrepreneurs’ Association DAMU today announced the opening of a business centre and incubator in Aksai which will support the development of local entrepreneurs.

The main goal of the project that has been made possible thanks to a full financial assistance from KPO is to assist the entrepreneurs in establishing and running new businesses.

KPO General Director Paolo Campelli said: “This project will help the entrepreneurs and farmers of Burlin district to access the newest business technology and loans necessary to sustain and expand their businesses and to create new jobs which will help build up a capacity for the sustainable development of the region”.

“We see it as part of our commitment to the social and economic growth of the communities across the Western Kazakhstan Oblast and, in particular, in Aksai and the rural areas near the Karachaganak field”, he added.

As Chairman of DAMU Association Serik Kairshin noted, the business centre and incubator will be used to train local entrepreneurs and farmers. The centre’s specialists will also be providing support in terms of securing mini-loans as well as conducting consultations regarding marketing, business planning and legal issues.

In addition, the beginner businessmen will be able to acquire essential administrative skills here including computer skills and the use of copier, fax, e-mail and Internet.

“There are three factors that give this project a high chance for success - the participation of professional business-support organisations, the significant direct funding from KPO, and the help of Burlin disctrict Akimat that understands the importance of small and medium business development", added Serik Kairshin.

In addition to $10 million that KPO invests annually towards social infrastructure projects in Western Kazakhstan, the company also allocates nearly KZT 100 million (1$/135KZT) per year to support socially oriented projects in Western Kazakhstan. Over the last years KPO has implemented a number of important initiatives in the fields of sustainable development including education, healthcare, training, youth empowerment, sports and culture.