Chevron plans Kazakh wind power: Kazakh presidential site

ALMATY Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:09am EDT

Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 15, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

ALMATY (Reuters) - Energy major Chevron Corp plans to invest in a wind power project in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh presidential administration said on Thursday, quoting visiting Chevron Chief Executive John Watson.

"Chevron will invest in the construction of a wind farm and will contribute its share to the development of renewable energy sources in Kazakhstan," presidential website www.akorda.kz quoted Watson as saying, in comments translated into Russian.

He gave no further details about the project. A Chevron spokeswoman in Almaty declined to give further details and other local officials were unavailable for comment.

Watson had earlier met President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the capital Astana, less than two weeks after the veteran Kazakh leader was re-elected by a landslide for a fourth term in charge of Central Asia's largest economy.

Kazakhstan, which holds about 3 percent of the world's recoverable oil reserves, has doubled its crude output over the past decade to become the second-biggest producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia.

The Chevron-led Tengizchevroil consortium, in which ExxonMobil, Russia's LUKOIL and Kazakh state oil and gas company KazMunaiGas also participate, is the country's largest crude producer.

With production of 25.9 million tonnes last year, Tengizchevroil accounted for slightly less than a third of Kazakhstan's total crude output of 79.5 million tonnes.

Renewable energy products are relatively rare in Kazakhstan, which also plans to develop a nuclear fuel cycle based on the world's second-largest uranium reserves.

But in a separate wind power project, a consortium involving private equity company Visor Capital and the Turkish subsidiary of Italy's Relight Group are exploring a potential $1 billion investment in two wind farms in Zhambyl region.

(Reporting by Robin Paxton)

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