New German partners to help solve old tyre problem

Kazakhstan is facing one particular environmental challenge these days: hundreds of thousands of old tyres are stored at depots that have already grown to the size of small settlements. To date, virtually no tangible plans exist to deal with this waste product of mobility. In an attempt to combat this problem, the Kazakh government recently launched an incentive to reward the processing of old tyres. Investors and operators are still needed to set up the according plants though. In Kazakhstan, less than ten per cent of old tyres are processed in some way; the rest simply remain stacked in ever-growing piles and pose a threat to the environment, aesthetics and humans.

In May 2017, a group of 21 Kazakh executives and entrepreneurs came to Dresden to complete the MP and pursue their individual cooperation interests. The group included representatives from a varied range of industries – from service providers for natural gas pipelines to embroidery manufacturers. And yet all had one thing in common: an interest in cooperating with Germany.

Yaroslav Akulich, who owns a project and consulting company, was among the MP participants. His company designs and manages the construction of different types of plants and production sites. One of the larger projects he is currently working on is the construction of an old tyre recycling plant. The investors, operators, project and site have now been agreed. All that is missing is the processing plant itself. And this is to come from Germany.

Equipped with the cooperation skills acquired at the NBL training centre in Dresden, the Kazakh guests were able to work on achieving their individual goals. For Akulich, Amandus Kahl GmbH & Co. KG was the potential business partner of choice. The plant manufacturer has already delivered old tyre recycling equipment to Kazakhstan in the past, though mostly for smaller-scale projects implemented before the government incentive for recycling old tyres was introduced. This time, the plant should be bigger: Akulich was able to approach the German company with an estimated project budget of €3 million. Given the current scale of the old tyre problem, anything less would be insufficient.

The group garnered a great deal of interest from German industry during company tours in Germany. However, the training on different management topics was also important for the Kazakh executives. “These days, it is no longer enough to rely on your intuition to run a business. Specialist skills are also needed – in company and project management as well as marketing. The training in Germany provided expertise specifically in these fields and encouraged us to be proactive,” said Gulnara Kasylova, a partner at a Kazakh family-run livestock breeding enterprise, after an eventful month in Germany.

ARGE Konsortium Neue Bundesländer, Dresden