The announcement coincided with a visit to the site by the new Akim (Mayor) of Kyzylorda, Mukhtar Kul-Mukhamed.
The preparatory work on the site will be undertaken by the Kazakhstan Glass Company JSC (KGC), joint shareholders with Pilkington in PKZ. Tender documents for the construction of the plant itself have now been issued, with the main work expected to begin in the summer of 2007.
The highly automated float line, which will take approximately two years to build, will provide work for over 1000 people during the construction phase. Once operational, it will employ over 200 people directly. In addition, an associated raw materials processing plant will be constructed alongside the float line by Kazakh Glass Distribution JSC (KGD).
Funding for the project is being provided in part by the Investment Fund of Kazakhstan and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan.
Once complete, the plant will supply the demands of the Kazakhstan market, with some exports into neighbouring countries, where there is a shortage of high quality float glass.
Zenuilla Kakimzhanov, Chairman of the Investment Fund of Kazakhstan said, “We are delighted that this complex project is now underway. It has taken longer and proven more difficult to develop than we had anticipated, but we are now confident of complete success. We very much hope to show the way to other major investors in the manufacturing sector and to demonstrate through this project the benefits of investing in Kazakhstan”
Mark Lyons, Managing Director of Pilkington Building Products Worldwide said “The plant represents a significant investment for Pilkington in this important market. We are delighted with the strength of the local support we have so far received, which augers well for the future development of the project.”