March 25 (Bloomberg) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the Hong Kong-listed company known as Sinopec, won a contract to build a $1.7 billion polypropylene plant in western Kazakhstan.

tubesALMATY (Reuters) - China's insatiable demand for energy to power its economy has made it a serious contender in the fight for control over vast energy resources in its thinly populated and impoverished western backyard.

March 11 (Reuters) - Energy-hungry China is stepping up its presence in former Soviet Central Asia by handing out billions of dollars in loans, snapping up energy assets and building a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan.

Kazakh companies are concerned about soaring import costs and stiffer competition from Russian rivals since the Central Asian country joined a customs union with Russia and Belarus on Jan. 1, a business lobby said.

Since the winter energy crisis two years ago, when freezing temperatures lasted for several weeks, cooperation dynamics within Central Asia have witnessed rapid change. Upstream Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which rely on electricity imports during winter, were hit particularly badly as they were unable to supply the population with enough electricity and gas. Consequently, Tajikistan was forced to declare a humanitarian crisis.

(SRI) - Bad loans remain the main systemic risk for Kazakh banks while liquidity and currency risks are gradually declining, Kazakhstan's central bank said Monday, citing its survey of the country's commercial banks.

Kazakhstan, the largest economy in Central Asia, is set for recovery after a bumpy 2009 in a process dependent on a number of external and domestic factors.

Kazakhstan threatened on Tuesday to rewrite key Western-run energy projects to implement new tax rules, in a move likely to send jitters among foreign investors operating in the Central Asian state.

ASTANA, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan, its economy slowly recovering from the global economic downturn, cut its 2010 growth forecast on Friday after recording better than expected results for 2009.

VIENNA – Kazakhstan is not ready to supply gas to Nabucco at this stage, but Astana is willing to consider supporting the gas pipeline to Austria as the former Soviet Republic develops its gas resources, and if the project makes sense economically, top Kazakh officials told New Europe in Vienna on 13 January.


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