Indian Monnet Group may purchase Tau-Ken Temir, silicon plant in Karaganda, according to Nursultan Jienbayev, deputy head of the Karaganda region. While the negotiations are still underway, local officials said that the investor might be considering converting the plant.
According to Kanat Kudaybergen, chairman of the board of directors of Tau-Ken Samruk, which is the corporate parent for Tau-Ken Temir, a group of technical experts from the investor side visited the plant in early February. However, he’s declined to reveal any details because they might affect the negotiations.
«Because there is no fixed arrangement with an investor, we are considering all options we have to resume the production process. For example, we have also considered privatization. Between 2021 and 2025 Tau-Ken Temir will be added to the list of affiliate companies that must be sold,» said Kudaybergen in response to Kursiv edition’s request.
Monnet Group was established in 1994. The mains aspects of the company’s work are the production and marketing of sponge iron, steel and ferroalloys. It owns three plants that produce ferromanganese, ferroaluminium and ferrochrome. However, the company also produces coal, iron ore and energy for the internal needs as well as doing some coal washing.
In January 2020 the Tau-Ken Temir plant was put on shutdown and 282 workers lost their jobs. The official justification for the move was super low demand on the global market. Silicon prices plunged over the last six months of 2019.
Tau-Ken Samruk (a subsidiary of the Samruk Kazyna National Fund) purchased the plant in 2015 with a total amount of investments of 16.4 billion tenge ($39.3 million). However, the national company didn’t make it to boost the plant’s capacity.
The silicon plant has been on sale since 2018. There were many offers from Turkish, German, Russian, Arabian and Kazakhstani investors. One of them, Turkish Yildirim Holding, even signed a memorandum of intent to buy the plant for $50 million but hasn’t done so yet.