Kazchrome, metallurgy heart of Kazakhstan
The Kazchrome Transnational Company was founded in 1995. The company consists of the Aktyubinsk and Aksu ferroalloy plants and the Donskoy Mining & Concentration Combine.
TNC Kazchrome currently employs about 15,000 people, and has 40 electric furnaces with the total installed capacity of 850 mega-voltampere, processing about 2.6m tonnes of commercial chrome ore per year.
In 1997, thanks to Kazchrome, Kazakhstan reached second place in the world in terms of chromium alloys production. The range of alloys produced, in addition to all brands of ferrochrome including metallic chrome, comprises the following: high-silica ferrosilicon (65-75% Si, 1.0-2.0% Al), ferrochrome silicon, and low phosphorus silicomanganese. The company’s ferroalloys are sold at the world’s major markets in ferroalloys, including the USA, Europe, and various South-East Asian countries (Japan, Korea, Taiwan).
Investments amounted to $167m in 1995-2000. Growth in sales over the same period came to 208%. Over the last four years the output of commercial production has grown by 51% in ferroalloys and 45% in chrome ore.
The Aksu Ferroalloy Plant, initially designed to produce ferrosilicon, has become one of the largest and most exclusive plants in the world. It produces chromium, siliceous and manganous alloys in large quantities.
The plant’s design capacity is 1m tonnes of ferroalloys per year. Over 6,000 people are employed there. The combined production complex includes 4 ferroalloy workshops, 26 electric furnaces, 2 shops for preparing furnace feed, motor vehicle and railway transport workshops, plus repair workshops, with a total of 42 subdivisions in all.
AFP was one of the first enterprises in Kazakhstan to conduct an environmental audit. Within the last four years the plant has invested almost 1bn tenge in carrying out ecological programs. However, the company invests not only in ecology. AFP has a long-term investment program until 2005, which envisages making 14.5bn tenge in investments.
Under international standards, in 2001 the plant completed the ISO 9002 quality certification system assisted by Germany’s TUV. The level of high quality product output has risen to 90% this year.
The enterprise’s social policy is aimed at creating favourable and safe labour conditions and ensuring its employees’ social security. Every year the enterprise spends over 1.5bn tenge on this purpose.
The Aktyubinsk Ferroalloy Plant (Ferrochrome OJSC)–the very first in Kazakhstani ferrous metallurgy–started its operation in 1943. Later on, the plant’s production capacities were extended to produce all types of chromium alloys. However, at the moment TNC Kazchrome was formed, production was limited to smelting high carbon ferrochrome.
The resumption of refined ferrochrome brands production in 1996 became possible only thanks to the purposeful work of the new management, investments, and the search for new markets.
Nowadays over three thousand people work at the enterprise. In addition to the main products, the following commodities are produced there: water glass, chrome ore briquettes, lime-and-sand bricks, and heat-resistant goods made from ferrochrome slag. To stabilise the plant’s power supply, in the year 2000 a gas turbine power station was acquired, which provides the plant with cheap electric power. Production of a new product–metallic chrome–started in 1999. During recently, the plant’s new focus was a technology for producing high-grade (70%) ferrotitanium from inlmenite concentrate from the Shokash field, Aktyubinsk region.
Other successful activities of the plant include concentration of collective ore concentrate and production of enriched rutile concentrate (up to 80% titanium dioxide, 3-5% Fe).
The Donskoy Mining and Concentration Combine (Donskoy GOK) opened in 1938. The enterprise employs about 6,000 people. The plant constitutes the largest chrome operation in the world and consists of two chrome mines and two ore processing and concentration plants.
The Donskoy GOK produces over 2.6m tonnes of commercial chrome ore per year, which is 20% of the total world output. In 1992 the Donskoy GOK joined the International Chrome Development Association (ICDA). In 1997 the plant was awarded the Golden Eagle international medal. Donskoy GOK was also awarded the title of Best Taxpayer of the Year, based on its results for the year 2000.
The plant regularly brings new capacity into operation, and there are plans to invest $24m in production by 2002. The first starting unit for the Republic of Kazakhstan’s 10th Anniversary of Independence Mine, with a capacity of 600 thousand tonnes of ore per year, has already been commissioned.
The profit balance at the plant’s disposal is forwarded to rendering aid to war veterans, pensioners, large families and low-income groups. As an enterprise of major importance in Khromtau town, the Donskoy GOK supports the town’s infrastructure. The plant also has its own television studio.
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