July 29, 2013, Kazakhstan Pravda by Lyudmila Korina
Karachaganak oil and gas field contributes significantly to the economy of the region and the country at large. For local residents it means large-scale social transformation and a real opportunity to improve the life quality.
«Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV» (KPO) consortium has been implementing social projects since 1998. Every year $ 10 million was allocated for the projects, and since 2009, the sum has doubled. But the investors are not limited by the Basic agreement on production sharing. The Special Committee defines the amount and addresses of charity assistance.
The Annual Report on Sustainable Development tells that «the key principles of the KPO activity are to ensure industrial safety, occupational health and environment protection, the use of modern methods of corporate governance, increase of the local content, improvement of the HR nationalization program and social support to the population». Its priorities are clearly defined and remain unchanged. Preference is given to such areas as health, education, infrastructure, culture and sports. It is also important that only local companies are involved in construction.
In 2012, 13 social and infrastructure projects were successfully implemented, including construction and overhaul of five secondary schools (the sum of 19.25 million dollars). Construction of educational facilities is underway this year too. Moreover, investors provide them with furniture, office equipment and manuals. The biggest school — 1200 seats – has been commissioned in Uralsk, in the most densely populated north-eastern part of the oblast center. The building’s area is 17,000 square meters. It consists of five blocks, 48 classrooms, a conference hall, a sports complex, a library, a dining room and a medical room.
Construction of education facilities is also underway in remote rural areas. For example, in Akzhaiyk area, the KPO financed construction of two schools in Aksuat and Saykuduk settlements. Each of them is of 198 seats. Aksuat school has already been commissioned. Construction of Saykuduk school is under completion.
In 2012, the KPO constructed a school of 200 seats in a distant village Koneketken, Terekty district. It has many classrooms, a gym, three playgrounds with a special coating designed especially for junior, middle and senior graders. The KPO also updates and replaces the existing equipment in the local schools. Thus, in April 2013, kitchens and dining rooms were re-equipped in the schools of Beryozovka, Uspenovka, Zhanatalap, Zharsuat, Karachaganak, Dmitrovo, Priuralnoe and Bestau villages.
In Uralsk construction of a new kindergarten of 350 seats has been completed. In West Kazakhstan region 17 educational facilities were built at the expense of «Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV». Selection of social projects of the KPO is agreed with the oblast governorate and the local advisory boards.
Significant contribution is made in Uralsk infrastructure. Substantial funds are invested in construction and reconstruction of roads of the regional center. The list of buildings, funded by the KPO, is extensive. This year, a tennis complex and a culture house are under construction in remote village Kaldygaity, Karatoby district. It is also planned to construct Qadir Mirza Ali house of arts in Uralsk, a football arena, a library, a youth and student Palace. For many years, the consortium buys summer recreation vouchers for children and veterans of the villages, located around the field. This year 160 children are going to summer camps. Over 15 years of Karachaganak development, the foreign investors have substantially changed Uralsk, whose residents are pleased with the facilities, built at the expense of the KPO (in total $ 270 million), according to Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper.