Kazakhstan Energy Week and KAZENERGY Forum 2023: A Hub for Key Decisions
In early October 2023, Astana traditionally became the energy capital of the Caspian region and Central Asia for a few days. From October 3rd to 6th, the EXPO Congress Center hosted the events of the now-established Kazakhstan Energy Week and the 15th Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum.
In his welcoming address to the participants of the 2021 Forum, Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev succinctly and accurately captured the essence of the Kazakhstan Energy Week. He described it as a unique dialog platform that offers leading experts a superb opportunity to examine current trends, forecasts, and plans aimed at helping the world achieve the global goal of halting climate change.
The 2023 Forum organizers not only preserved but also expanded and enriched the traditions initially embedded in the event concept:
- Comprehensive and well-thought-out thematic coverage addressing the most pressing, relevant, and trendsetting issues and directions of modern energy.
- An elite roster of delegates and guests including leaders of foreign energy departments, top executives of energy companies, representatives of international industry organizations, experts, and opinion leaders.
- A packed agenda featuring roundtable discussions, meetings, negotiations, and strategic, specialized, high-level sessions.
Impressive yet straightforward statistics from the 2023 Kazakhstan Energy Week and the XV Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum highlight:
- Participation by 2,149 delegates from 32 countries;
- Over the course of 4 days, 33 events were successfully conducted;
- Coverage included representatives from 35 Kazakhstani and international media outlets.
The Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum celebrated its 15th iteration this year. While the inaugural event took place in what now seems the distant year of 2006, the world has undergone significant changes since then. These shifts have not only modified the global energy agenda but also influenced the topics discussed in Astana.
As mentioned, the agenda for this milestone forum included 33 events. These ranged from sessions and meetings addressing the most pressing energy issues and questions, including those tasks set forth by the nation's leadership, such as decarbonization, ensuring energy security, development of renewable energy sources, gasification, petrochemicals, and diversifying resource transportation methods.
Specifically, as part of the Kazakhstan Energy Week, the forum featured events such as the Energy Forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a thematic session of the Foreign Investors' Council under the President of Kazakhstan, the unveiling of the KAZENERGY-2023 National Energy Report, a session on investments in the energy infrastructure of Kazakh regions, and the inaugural KAZENERGY Start-Up Battle for energy-sector startups, among many others.
For the first time, the forum venue hosted a thematic session of the Foreign Investors' Council under the President of Kazakhstan. This session had notable attendees like the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan, Erlan Nysanbaev, and the Kazakhstan Presidential Advisor and Special Representative for International Environmental Cooperation, Zulfiya Suleimenova. The session was dedicated to implementing the strategy to achieve the country's carbon neutrality by 2060. An agreement was reached for the continued participation of the Foreign Investors' Council under the President of Kazakhstan in future KAZENERGY forums.
Among the pivotal events on the forum's opening day were the strategic session "Ecology and Energy: Partnership Vectors," graced by the presence of the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. There was also a panel session titled "Nuclear Agenda: Eco-Friendliness vs. Safety," which, among other topics, focused on the environmental aspects of nuclear energy.
Of particular note was the presentation of the 6th edition of the National Energy Report-2023, the Panel Session on "Global Energy Security" featuring the Advisor to the President of Kazakhstan, Bolat Akchulakov, and CICA Secretary General, Kairat Sarybay. There was also a first-of-its-kind roundtable meeting that convened deputy mayors from various regions, heads of the country's energy-producing organizations, and representatives from the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan. At the conclusion of this meeting, participants lauded the innovative format of such a dialogue between the ministry, regional leaders, and energy-producing companies and agreed to hold similar meetings regularly.
Without a doubt, the most anticipated and pivotal event of the forum was the plenary session. During this session, the Minister of Energy, Almasadam Satkaliev, read out a welcoming address from the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to the participants of Kazakhstan Energy Week-2023/XV Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum. In his address, he specifically stated:
"Esteemed Forum Participants,
I am delighted to welcome you to the XV Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum!
Modern global energy is confronting grave climatic and geopolitical challenges. As a result, energy security, sustainable energy supply chains, and green technologies are becoming increasingly vital.
Kazakhstan has established itself as a reliable supplier of energy resources to the global market, actively developing alternative export routes and transportation-logistics infrastructure.
Our country's fuel and energy sector is a primary driving force of our progressive advancement. The industry attracts large-scale foreign investments and new technologies. Simultaneously, we are giving focused attention to the consistent diversification of our economy. Our objective is to create advanced refinement clusters, executing breakthrough projects, including in the realm of deep oil and gas processing.
In Kazakhstan, favorable conditions have been established for attracting investments in clean and renewable energy sources. We have adopted a strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. By 2030, renewable energy sources should account for at least 15% of the country's energy balance.
I am confident that during today's forum and the Kazakhstan Energy Week, there will be a fruitful exchange of experiences and ideas, and new approaches to further development of the energy sector will be formulated.
I wish all participants productive discussions and great success!"
The Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum, organized by the Kazakhstan Association of Oil-Gas and Energy Sector Organizations KAZENERGY since 2006, has evolved from a grand international event from its inception, representing the energy sector of the Caspian and Central Asian region, into a powerful dialogue platform. This platform facilitates discussions on pertinent industry-related issues, and more broadly, topics concerning the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and Eurasia as a whole.
In today's rapidly changing world, where global and regional market dynamics, economic, political, and energy situations shift almost hourly, it's essential for key stakeholders, experts, and interested companies and individuals to have a space to meet, network, refresh old connections, and establish new ones. Such a space exists in Astana.
Reflecting on the 15th iteration of the KAZENERGY Association Forum, supported by the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, one can ascertain that the Kazakhstan Energy Week has reaffirmed its status. It is a time-tested forum that has earned international respect as an effective dialogue platform – a venue where professional opinions are voiced, challenges are debated, and crucial decisions are made and adopted.