Minister of Industry and Construction Kanat Sharlapayev responded to queries from journalists regarding potential ownership of the coal plant following its transfer from Lakshmi Mittal’s ArcelorMittal.
He clarified the government is not contemplating any foreign investors after rights transfer to the Republic of Kazakhstan. Additionally, all existing conditions such as union agreements, wages and staffing levels will remain unchanged during transition.
When asked if businessman Serik Akhmetov could become the new investor, the Minister stated no specific investor has been discussed as they do not plan to attract foreign ownership. ArcelorMittal Temirtau retains operational capability as an ongoing concern generating over $3 million revenue in 2022.
Sharlapayev explained it would be incorrect to assume budgetary funding is needed as the enterprise sustains itself financially. Negotiations with ArcelorMittal had been ongoing for some time, with preliminary sale documents signed October 22nd preceding the mine tragedy. Therefore, characterising the deal as hastily conducted would be erroneous.
Legal measures are being taken to safeguard Kazakhstan from further litigation once this investor exits. The plant name may change owing to loss of ArcelorMittal branding rights. Staff opinion will factor in any new name decision.
Disclosure of acquisition conditions was declined due to the seller’s public listing, though budget funds will not be utilised for the asset purchase. Legally binding contracts remain pending signature with the listed company.