ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN — Kazakhstan is planning to build a deep grain processing plant with a planned total capacity of 1 million tonnes of wheat annually to produce fructose syrup, crystalline fructose, allulose, crystalline dextrose, sodium gluconate, gluten and feed.

On June 25, Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin and Yerzhan Yelekeyev, chairman of the board of Kazakh Invest, the government investment promotion and facilitation agency, met in China with the leadership of Beijing-based CITIC Construction, which undertook a similar project in Belarus in 2023.

CITIC plans to implement the project, preliminarily located in the Almaty Region of Kazakhstan, in several phases. It is anticipated that the project, which may exceed $1 billion, will create over 2,000 jobs, Kazakh Invest said.

“We are ready to provide comprehensive support for the implementation of the project,” Yelekeyev said. “Deep grain processing is one of the priority and promising areas in the strategic development of the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Our country is one of the largest wheat producers in the world and is ready to contribute to ensuring food security in the region, as the area of land for cultivation and livestock grazing exceeds 200 million hectares.”

Wheat is Kazakhstan’s largest crop by acreage, accounting for 80% of grain production. Production in marketing year 2024-25 is estimated at 15.8 million tonnes, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture. In addition to wheat, Kazakhstan produces barley, cotton, sunflower seed and rice. 

Kazakhstan is the region’s largest flour exporter by volume, shipping mostly to other Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. However, it is looking to continue to expand its trade with China and has increased crop exports from 750,000 tonnes in 2019 to 3.5 million tonnes in 2023.