On November 1, 2017, Kazakhstan Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev held a business meeting on the modernization of the Pavlodar petrochemical plant (PPCP). The Ministry’s public affairs office informed the country and the world about this high-profile event by issuing a document called “The KazMunayGaz Top-Managers May Get Fired if They Miss PPCP Modernization Deadline”.
Judging by the title and the content of the document that cannot be characterized in any way but as a verbal intervention, falling behind in the realization of the Kazakhstan oil refineries modernization project may turn out to be critical for Bozumbayev. Note that, before, he had already received a reprimand from the president for the motor fuel deficit. Nursultan Nazarbayev placed this reprimand on the same footing as a discharge.
However, Bozumbayev’s attempt to speed up the implementation of this complex investment project by the means of putting administrative pressure on the KazMunayGaz top-management (namely, on Operating Vice-President of Transportation, Refining, and Marketing of the KazMunayGaz company Daniyar Tiesov and PPCP CEO Shukhrat Danbay) looks pathetic.
Clearly, Kanat Bozumbayev is feeling nervous, and the staff of his agency is feeling nervous with him. Otherwise, they would have refrained from publishing the press-releases that can be regarded only as an obvious attempt to shift the responsibility for the failures onto the subordinates while showing off their activity to the president.
Judging by the fact that, almost concurrently with the press-release publication, the minister was so inappropriate in his interaction with the journalists that it even scandalized certain parliamentarians, he is probably not simply feeling nervous, he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Our assumption is corroborated by yet another Ministry’s press-release on the meeting held by Kanat Bozumbayev on November 7, 2017 that made PPCP CEO Shukhrat Danbay its fall victim.
As for Kanat Bozumbayev’s public warning that a diesel fuel deficit may form in Kazakhstan, it is nothing but a clear attempt to build a safety net in case he will have to fall.
In other words, because of the motor fuel crisis, Kanat Bozumbayev, from the ranks of the “promising” officials, moved to the “wounded ducks” category. According to the Kazakhstan practices, he will likely be relieved from his duties and made a vice-minister, a deputy governor, or a national company president.
Since Kanat Bozumbayev is neither the first nor the last victim of the technology-related, nature-related, and production-related problems, he should be glad if only because (if) he will be removed from the office because of the petrol deficit and not because of the locust attack on the capital. You must admit that Bozumbayev’s disposition looks much more respectable than when one is “eaten” by an insect.