99 out of 110 elements of the Periodic Table are found in Kazakhstan. Such volumes of minerals give the country an opportunity to increase its industrial development and export of raw materials. The most developed industries of Kazakhstan are considered non-ferrous and ferrous metallurgy, chemical and petrochemical industry, transport, mechanical engineering and production of construction materials.
In this sector experts note the huge potential of the country both to meet domestic needs and establish exports. Experts agree that the country has significant reserves of raw materials for the development of the cement, ceramic, glass and asbestos processing industries.
Natural resources allowed to establish production of building stone, facing stone, gypsum, sand, lime, paint and varnish products. Kazakhstan producers produce ceramic tiles, dry mixes, plastic and plastic pipes. There are enterprises producing reinforced concrete products, bricks, thermal insulation materials, gypsum concrete, and mortars. However, at this stage, the industry is dependent on exports by about 70-80% and domestic volumes are not enough even to cover its own needs.
There are 11 international transit corridors passing through Kazakhstan. Five of them are railroad and six are automobile corridors. According to MIID RK, currently the transport industry is developing dynamically. The volume of freight traffic is growing.
For example, in 2021, the volume of cargo transported by rail increased by 10% to 70.8 million tons. The volume of transit cargo increased by 20% and amounted to 4 million tons, containers - by 12% with the index of 174.7 thousand TEU. By 2025 it is planned to increase the volume of transit traffic to 30 million tons.
Understanding the strategic importance of the transport sector, the Government pays great attention to unlocking the transit potential of the country. Trains are being updated, alternative routes are being developed and infrastructure is being built. The country's budget is well replenished by means of container transportations. Currently the specialists of the sector are working to increase the capacities of Aktau and Kuryk ports and Trans-Caspian international transport route - ТCITR. This is an international transport corridor that runs through China, Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and further to Turkey and European countries.
Mechanical engineering in Kazakhstan is represented by several types of economic activity. These are repair and installation of equipment, production of machinery and equipment, metal products, metal casting, production of electrical equipment; electronic and optical products.
In recent years, the production of new types of engineering products has been established. Kazakhstan assembles transformers, passenger and freight cars, locomotives, railway wheels, switches, and produces cable and wire products. Kazakhstani enterprises also produce accumulators, spare parts for machinery and equipment for mining. Oil and gas, electrical engineering, railroad, mining and metallurgy, and agricultural and motor transport machinery are well developed.
As for agricultural and motor-vehicle engineering, it is represented mainly by joint projects with Russian, Belarusian and other foreign companies.
Kazakhstan has a thriving mining and chemical industry and chemical industry based on the extraction of fossil chemical raw materials. The country's chemical companies produce caustic soda, plastics, tires, chemical fibers, and calcium carbide.
According to the data of Industrial Development Committee of the MIID RK, phosphorus industry of Kazakhstan provides 34,1% of production of chemical industry of the Republic (without petrochemical production). Kazakhstan has 90% of the world's reserves of phosphorus. This enables it to be processed and replenish the country's foreign exchange earnings.
Kazakhstan exports yellow phosphorus, mineral fertilizers, chrome oxides and chlorides, herbicides, chrome trioxide, ammonium nitrate, sodium dichromate and other goods. It is worth mentioning that the chemical industry also helps the country's agriculture, producing necessary for the industry mineral fertilizers and chemical preparations.
The petrochemical industry
According to the analytical agency Energiprom, Kazakhstan ranked 18th out of 127 countries in terms of daily oil production in 2022. The republic is second only to Russia in the post-Soviet space in terms of liquid hydrocarbon reserves. Kazakhstan has 3% of the world's oil reserves, about 4.4 billion tons. The volume of oil and gas condensate production during the years of independence grew from 25 million tons to 90.5 million tons per year in 2019.
The three largest fields of the country - Tengiz, Karachaganak and Kashagan are engaged in oil and gas production in Kazakhstan. Kashagan is now one of the top 10 large fields in the world.
Currently, there are three oil refineries in the country - Atyrau, Pavlodar and Shymkent.
Ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy
The most important strategic sector of Kazakhstan's economy is the mining and metallurgy complex. According to monitoring agencies, it accounts for 7% of GDP. Kazakhstan is ranked 13th in the world in terms of the total production of solid minerals.
Leading branches of non-ferrous metallurgy of the country may be referred to lead-zinc, copper and aluminum industries.
It may be noted that on the London Metal Exchange (LME), Ust-Kamenogorsk zinc, Balkhash and Zhezkazgan copper are registered as benchmarks, 90 per cent of Kazakhstan copper and copper alloys are exported. In terms of gold reserves, Kazakhstan is one of the top 10 countries. World reserves of coal in Kazakhstan are estimated at 33.6 billion tons. Kazakhstan ranks 8th in the global ranking. Our country is also the leader in terms of lead and zinc reserves. Kazakhstan's reserves of iron ore are estimated at 16.6 billion tons. Kazakhstan is only ahead of South Africa in terms of chrome reserves in the world. By volumes of production and supply of chrome alloys Kazakhstan has come out on the 2nd place in the world.