* Agreement is part of $4 bln package of deals
* China looking to boost business with resource-rich neighbour
* Deals also signed in uranium mining, telecommunications
BEIJING, Dec 15 (Reuters) - CEFC China Energy Company Ltd has agreed to acquire 51 percent of a unit of Kazakhstan’s state oil and gas company which mainly owns refinery and fuel assets in Europe, the little-known private firm said in a statement.
The agreement was part of a package of deals worth a total of $4 billion signed late on Monday in Beijing in sectors including oil and gas, telecommunications and nuclear power, with China looking to ramp up business with its resource-rich Central Asian neighbour.
CEFC will take control of KMG International (KMGI), a fully-owned unit of Kazakh state oil and gas firm KazMunayGaz , according to the statement and two senior sources at CEFC. One of the sources valued KMGI at $500 million to $1 billion.
KMGI officials said they were unable to immediately respond to requests for comment.
Among KMGI’s key assets are a 100,000 barrels per day refinery and a 400,000 tonnes per year fertilizer plant in Romania, along with nearly 1,000 petrol stations in Romania and other countries such as Spain and France, according to the CEFC source.
CEFC, which has been branching into oil and gas after starting in the Chinese financial sector, plans to invest “billions” of dollars to expand the retail network to more than 3,000 gas stations, the source said.
Part of the funding would come from China’s $40 billion “Silk Road” infrastructure fund, the source added.
“Kazakhstan is rich in oil and gas and has been China’s friendly neighbor. The deal well fits the government’s One Belt One Road plan,” said the source, who declined to be named due to company policy.
China is seeking to revive the old Silk Road with an ambitious plan to build railways, highways, oil and gas facilities, power grids and other links across Central, West and South Asian nations, under the so-called “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
CEFC, with its main operations in Shanghai and Beijing, has been building up its oil trading team in Singapore, hiring nearly a dozen senior managers from state energy giants PetroChina and Sinopec, as well as former executives experienced in energy acquisitions.
Meanwhile, CGN Mining Co., a listed subsidiary of state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation, said late on Monday that it had entered into an agreement with Kazatomprom for a minority stake to develop uranium deposits in the Central Asian country.
CGNPC Uranium Resources, another subsidiary, will also work with Kazatomprom to supply fuel to customers in China, Kazakhstan and potentially elsewhere.
Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Additional reporting by Adam Rose and Kathy Chen; Editing by Joseph Radford
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