Nikolay Kamenskiy, General Director of Two Key LLP and representative of the Professional Association of Independent Experts in Subsoil Use, believes that proper coal processing can diversify the economy. An interview with Zona.kz.
Does our country have enough coal?
Coal reserveswill last another 400-500 years at the current rate of consumption.
Why do Kazakhstanis lack coal?
In my opinion, coal traders are to blame. This year Kazakhstan produced more coal than last year. We have started exporting more coal to Europe and Ukraine. There are no problems with coal production, but there are problems with the delivery of coal.
Do you think coal production will remain at the same level because we have alternative energy sources like solar panels and wind farms?
The low-cost alternative to coal is nuclear power plants. But so far, it’s all still at the level of talk. From a purely technical point of view, nuclear power is the cleanest fuel. Energy from solar and wind farms is quite expensive. They would not be able to supply our houses with heatand our factories with energy.
Do you think our country needs a nuclear power plant?
Yes, I would build a few plants on the border with China. China needs uranium, we could set up exports. Kazakhstan is the leader in uranium reserves. Not a single kilogramme of uranium stays in Kazakhstan, we sell it all. Why do not we use our uranium reserves for nuclear power plants?
Could you tell us something about the problems of the coal miners that were raised at the recent forum?
The deposits are at the stage of closure (especially the Karaganda mines, the most popular coal reserves are being depleted there). We need to start deep processing of coal, which opens up many possibilities. For instance, for the production ofEuro 5/Euro 6 petrol, diesel fuel that does not freeze, plastics, solvents, i.e., all substances that contain carbon. Unfortunately this industry does not exist in Kazakhstan.