Kepco, Samsung May Build Kazakh Plant From 2013, Official Says

A venture between Samsung C&T Corp. (000830), Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760) and Kazakhstan may begin building a $2.2 billion power plant near the financial capital of Almaty as early as 2013, a deputy industry and technology minister said.

Construction may be completed by 2018 or 2019, Bakhytzhan Dzhaksaliyev said in the city. The venture may hold a tender for an engineering, procurement and supervision contract next year, ensuring purchases of Kazakh goods and services, he said.

The partners are in talks over their shares in the venture, Dzhaksaliyev said today, adding the government will own the plant and the venture recover its costs by selling the power.

The plant is part of the venture’s $4.5 billion plan to develop electricity operations in the country. Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund was seeking to increase its stake in the venture to 51 percent by persuading Kepco and Samsung to reduce their ownership, Interfax reported in August.

In March 2009, Kepco and Samsung said the coal-fired plant would be built by 2014, in Balkhash, 370 kilometers (230 miles) northwest of Almaty, with a 1,200 to 1,500 megawatt capacity. They would build, own and operate the plant, the companies said.

The energy unit of the state-run National Wellbeing Fund Samruk-Kazyna would hold 25 percent plus one share of the power plant, the fund said in September 2009. Kepco and Samsung C&T Corp. would have 70 percent minus one share, and Kazakhmys Plc (KAZ) get a 5 percent stake in the venture, the fund said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nariman Gizitdinov in Almaty at ngizitdinov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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