URALSK, Western Kazakhstan Oblast, September 11, 2002 -- Today, President Nazarbayev has taken part in the opening ceremony of the Kazakh Drama Theatre that has been built in Uralsk as part of the $ 10 million per annum Karachaganak Integrated Organisation (KIO) social investment program.

RoK Government officials, Mr. Kusherbayev, West Kazakhstan Oblast Akim, and KIO top management also attended the ceremony.

In his speech President Nazarbayev said: "I can see that the city is developing with the whole Kazakhstan. Streets are getting better, more new structures and cultural facilities are being built. The new theatre is a joyful momentum both for the city and the whole Kazakhstan." J

ohn Morrow, KIO Venture Director, said "The Kazakh Drama Theatre has been designed in Kazakhstan and built by Kazakhstani companies. It is a part of an ongoing commitment to social investment of $ 10 million per year. Over the period of the FPSA this will amount to some $ 400 million".

KIO’s investment in the construction of the Kazakh Drama Theatre has totalled $10 million dollars. The design work was carried out by Kazzhobalau Research Institute in collaboration with Russian experts from Mosgiproteatr. The construction was done by the main contractor Zhayikselstroi and other Kazakhstani subcontractors.

The theatre compliments the historical centre of Uralsk and is a unique structure. Firstly, it is the first theatre built in independent Kazakhstan. Secondly, the design encompasses both traditional and modern artistic trends. Thirdly, the construction completion term has hit a record of less than two years.

The major hall can seat up to 280 spectators. The stage size is 15 m by 21 m. There are two rehearsal halls, a lobby for public events, VIP room, decoration workshop, sound studio, and many additional premises.

Since 1999 KIO has invested over $ 50 million dollars in WKO social projects. The projects include: construction and refurbishment of medical establishments, construction of two schools and an ice-skating rink, reconstruction of urban roads, installation of gas supply system, and water supply project in Aksai.