The problem of shortage of qualified personnel, especially engineering and technical, is still acute for most of Kazakhstan's enterprises. How do You solve this problem?
- Taking into account the fact that transformer construction is a science-intensive production, we created a Polytechnic College on a dual training system in Kentau in 2012: 40% of the total students learn the theory, and 60% pass industrial practice. In the end, at the time of graduation, we get prepared specialists who have direct experience of working on the basis of our enterprises. This is the great advantage of such training, because students are not limited to the walls of the study room. Moreover, I would like to emphasize that this year we have signed an agreement with the German educational concern TUV Rheiland Akademie GmBH, which makes it possible for our College to apply international standards in education, as well as to adopt foreign experience in training personnel. Thus, in 2019, the College received a new status -Kazakh-German Polytechnic College.
It’s no secret that the company actively supports the Department of Electrical Engineering of Nazarbayev University. Could You please tell us about this support?
- That's right, we are actively cooperating with the representatives of Nazarbayev University. In particular, we opened a laboratory and provided free of charge electrical equipment, transformers, oil and dry, vacuum switches last year. The goal is to enable students to test our electrical equipment and practice. We also attract students for industrial work placement at our enterprises. Similar opportunities are provided to other universities, so since the beginning of 2000, we have similarly supported Almaty Institute of Communications and Energy: we provide electrical equipment, test benches for students to test new parts and technologies. Moreover, just a month ago, we opened two new laboratories on the basis of Khoja Akhmet Yassawi International Kazakh-Turkish University in Kentau: the first one provides the latest test benches and electrical equipment, the second one - everything related to robotics and digitization. Our assistance is not limited to technical support of higher education Institutions, often after graduation we accept graduates into our ranks, structural divisions of enterprises belonging to the group of companies of Alageum Electric JSC. The company also supports employees; we have a social package providing for tuition fees for the MBA program. This year, as part of this initiative, we have received 6 employees for training, that is, we pay great attention to the training of our personnel every year. In General, I would like to note that we have increased the number of personnel to 4500 people for 22 years of successful work in the Kazakh market of electric machinery. I consider this a good indicator. To date, the group of companies of Alageum Electric includes 14 manufacturers. We are able to compete with local manufacturers of substation equipment and even with representatives-dealers of world brands such as ABB, Siemens, etc. Taking into account the competitive environment, we forge ahead; every year we carry out modernization of our enterprises.
Could You please tell us more about modernization of the enterprises?
-In 2012, we fully completed the modernization of our plants, that is, updated technological machines, which allowed us increase production capacity. For example, if before 3 machines made one product, today 1 machine has the ability to fully manufacture the products of three machines. This year, we also launched Asia Trafo plant for the production of large transformers of voltage class 110, 220, 500 kW. The plant is unique, it has no analogues in all Central Asia. To finance it, we have attracted our long-standing strategic partner - Development Bank of Kazakhstan JSC, which has allocated a loan of KZT 8.6 billion for a period of 12 years at 9.6 percent per annum, now this rate is reduced to 8.7%. The plant has the potential to produce 130 pieces of transformers per year. It seems that this is not enough, but each unit is equivalent to a huge machine and the weight of such a transformer will be from 100 tons to 300 tons. We plan to export 50% of our products to the CIS countries. This is our third joint project with DBK: in 2015 in the framework of the program Nurly Zhol wer opened pre-export financing, also in 2012, the first time we signed a contract with DBK-Leasing for the modernization of Kentau transformer plant to increase production capacity, and at the stage of construction of Asia Trafo plant we already knew where to apply for funding, as the Development Bank is a reliable and stable partner, created to finance projects in the manufacturing industry. They have all the conditions that attract customers and investors: long-term financing of investment projects, in our case with an emphasis on pre-export financing.
You touched on the subject of exports, could You tell me how many percent of output goes to foreign markets, and how much of it covers domestic needs?
- The share of exports in our group of companies is more than 45%, the main exporter is Ural transformer plant, which exports 96% of its products to the CIS countries, and Kentau transformer plant exports more than 45% to the CIS countries. Now, in order to develop exports, we have opened a representative office in Russia, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. We have a dealer network in the CIS countries. In the future, in order to reduce the cost of our products and increase competitiveness, we plan to build a new plant for the production of panel radiators; construction work is already underway in Uralsk. This product has not been produced in Kazakhstan before; we ourselves are consumers of this product, because panel-type radiator are used in the production of large transformers. We will also export the products of this plant to the CIS countries, where there are transformer plants, as they now mainly buy them in China and Europe.