Alexander Klebanov: Who Is Behind The Situation in Ekibastuz

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An Orda Correspondent looked into what the ultimate beneficiary of the Ekibastuz thermal power plant is famous for and what belongs to him.

RMB: On November 27 in Ekibastuz there was an accident at a thermal power plant. Part of the city was left without heat as a result. Immediately after the accident, the name Alexander Klebanov surfaced in the media. It had already appeared in connection with the accident at the Petropavlovsk CHP. The CHP is also an asset of the oligarch.

The holding through which Klebanov owns thermal power plants in the north of the country is called CAPEC. Klebanov also owns other peculiar assets through it. 

Malenkov, Solzhenitsyn and Privatization: Ekibastuz CHP's History

Ekibastuz Thermal power plant is the oldest power plant in Pavlodar region. Its construction began back in 1952. Prisoners of the Ekibastuz GULAG took part in the construction. The writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn was among them. 

The construction was completed only in 1960, and one of the first directors was the former secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Georgy Malenkov.

Photo from the book "EKIBASTUZ CHP: YESTERDAY, TODAY, TOMORROW”

In 1995, ETEC became a part of the republican enterprise of Pavlodarenergo JSC. The Pavlodar CHP plants, put up for auction in 1997, were the first to come into the possession of CAPEC (Central Asian Fuel and Energy Corporation). The holding, through Pavlodarenergo, already owned most of the energy generating and energy transmission organizations in the Pavlodar region by 2008. In 2009, all shares of Pavlodarenergo went to Central Asian Electric Power Corporation a subsidiary of CAEPCO.

In 2018 Klebanov owned only a third of the corporation. But in May 2018, Yerkyn Amirkhanov, who owned another third of the shares of CAPEC, was detained on suspicion of commercial bribery. Klebanov increased his presence in the holding to 49% after a couple of months.

State-owned companies could also be found among the minority shareholders of CAPEC. Namely, the NUH Foundation "Baiterek".

The Talented Mr. Klebanov

In 1986, 23-year-old Alexander Klebanov graduated from the Almaty Medical Institute and worked in the medical field for the next ten years. However, in 1996, his career took an unexpected turn. He found himself as director of the representative office of Airfinance Europe LTD in Kazakhstan. He then became the director of the state airline "Berkut" under the Office of the President in the nineties.

Klebanov worked at Berkut until 2006, and in 2007 he became chairman of the directors of CAEPCO. It was when CAPEC transferred part of its assets to CAEPCO. Klebanov also entered the list of founders of the CAPEC holding in 2007. Among the founders are a number of other companies that later became part of the holding. For example, the Petropavlovsk kindergarten "Alakai".

Klebanov is often associated with the Nazarbayev family. More specifically with the the ex-president's eldest daughter, Dariga. This is written not only by various opposition media, but also quite openly stated by foreign politicians.

A member of the British Parliament, Margaret Hodge, is a prime example. She made a report on the "kleptocratic elite of Kazakhstan” in February 2022. Hodge stated that Alexander Klebanov himself and his son, Yakov, are trusted financial persons of the Nazarbayev family during this report. Hodge also noted that the Klebanovs probably helped Dariga Nazarbayeva avoid a decree on unexplained wealth.

The Unexplained wealth order (UWO) is a British court ruling requiring persons involved in serious crimes or politically significant persons to disclose the sources of their wealth, which a court finds inexplicable.

A Businessman’s Sixth Sense

CAPEC’s assets have not only multiplied over the years. Several unsuccessful enterprises still fell off during Klebanov's 15 years of work. But the most exceptional case was Eximbank, which demonstrated the phenomenal luck of the oligarch.

Yerkyn Amirkhanov
Photo: "Kazakhstanskaya Pravda”

At the same time, when the aforementioned Yerkyn Amirkhanov was already under investigation and sold his share of the holding, CAPEC either sold or transferred their shares of Eximbank Kazakhstan JSC to him. Klebanov himself also hastened to resign from the board of directors of the troubled bank. Just a couple of days after the transaction, the bank was deprived of its license. Six months later, the bank was liquidated, its property was sold, and Amirkhanov left Kazakhstan.

What Are Klebanov's Holdings Rich In

CAPEC is the founder of three companies. Among them are the investment companies "CAPEC – Energoinvest" and "CAPEC – Invest", as well as the kindergarten "Alakai" in Petropavlovsk.

CAPEC had also been the majority shareholder of the CAPEC holding. However, now the CAEPCO is divided directly between the beneficiaries. Among the largest shareholders is Alexander Klebanov. 

CAEPCO shares have an interesting fate. Back in 2018, the European Development Bank and KAZ HOLDINGS COOPERAIEF U.A. owned large shares of CAEPCO shares. In 2019, CAEPCO bought their shares from these two organizations, thus concentrating up to 97% of the shares in its hands. However, at the end of 2020, CAPEC completely withdrew from CAEPCO.

CAEPCO shareholders for 2019

The main assets of Klebanov and other shareholders are currently concentrated in CAEPCO. Among them are strategically important "Pavlodar-Vodokanal Severny", "Pavlodarenergo" and "SevKazEnergo". 

Through these organizations, Klebanov and the company own the Pavlodar water utility, heating networks in Pavlodar and Ekibastuz, the Pavlodar energy supply organization and the CHP. The oligarchs own CAPEC Green Energy through Pavlodarenergo. CAPEC Green Energy is engaged in "green" energy and in 2015 built the EXPO-2017 wind power plant.

Structure of PAVLODARENERGO

They own a thermal power plant and distribution networks in Petropavlovsk through SevKazEnergo. Petropavlovsk Residents also recently found themselves in the cold due to an accident at a thermal power plant.

Pavlodarenergo structure

The CAPEC holding also partially includes Astana ERC LLP, a company engaged in "improving the system of settlements and collection of payments for utilities." In February 2021, an audit revealed financial irregularities in their work. 

The company purchased services from Astanaenergosbyt LLP without conducting public procurement. "Astanaenergosbyt" also helped "Astana ERC", supplying at least 30% of the total volume of the Single Payment Document.

Astanaenergosbyt was also part of Klebanov's holding back in December 2021. But at the moment its only head and founder is Alexander Zinkevich.

Klebanov and The Media

Alexander Klebanov met his wife in his student years. The couple reportedly graduated from the same institute in one year. Daria Klebanova left the medical field before her husband, in 1992. At first she worked at Almaty television, and in 1994 she became the director of "Rahat-TV". Despite the fact that Rahat-TV has already been renamed STV, the LLP still bears the same name. There is also reason to assume that the owners of the channel are also the same.

Daria Klebanova
Photos from the website nespi.kz

The TV company was owned by Daria Klebanova and Svetlana Tatenko in 2010.  However, in 2011, Alexander Klebanov became the sole founder, and Batyr Kazybayev became the head.

Batyr Kazybayev – founder of the Kazakhstan portal Tengrinews.kz .
Photo Tengrinews.kz

Alash Media Group LLP joined Klebanov in 2012.

The TV channel is now under the complete control of Alash Media Group. The Alash Media Group has lost all visible connections with Alexander Klebanov. However, Batyr Kazybayev remained the head and founder of the medical holding until recently. After his death, his wife Zaure Kazybayeva took this place.

Data of Alash Media Group for 2012

In addition to STV, Alash Media Holding includes the aforementioned Rahat-TV, ERA TV Company, and websites Vesti.kz and Tengrinews.kz , Tolgau LLP (publishing house). Klebanov owned part of these news publications through Effective Media Liaison LLP. Then, for some unknown reason, he left the list of founders of both companies and all these media outlets remained under the control of Batyr Kazybayev.

Like Father Like Son

At the moment, Daria Klebanova no longer owns any companies. But the Klebanovs' son, Yakov, managed to become a successful businessman.

Photo from the website of Astana Aviation Services

The younger Klebanov, for example, picked up his father's old hobby and owns Astana Aviation Services. He does not manage presidential planes, of course, but he is engaged in servicing VIP flights of business and private aviation.

Another interesting asset of Yakov Klebanov is Solis Ltd., through which he owns the Rixos Almaty Hotel and Brasserie restaurant, also in Almaty. The company regularly receives orders from various government departments for the provision of executive and hotel services. Solis Ltd's clients include the Office of the Constitutional Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Treasury.

Purchases of Solis Ltd.

Among other things, Alexander Klebanov's son owns the law firm Global Advisors Prime, the construction company Prime Business and the IT company Savabit Limited. He also owns the real estate management company "Teniz Star" and "Legacy" LLP, which provides other individual services.

Every Company Should Have a Secret

Open sources say that Yakov Klebanov also owns half of the shares of Circle Maritime Invest JSC. This information, however, is not available on the e-government website. The company is engaged in maritime transportation and logistics. JSC owns a fleet of sea vessels operating in the Caspian Sea. The company has even cooperated with Tengizchevroil. Last year alone, Circle Maritime Invest paid more than two billion in taxes.

Mrs. Klebanova and Her Business

Yakov Klebanov's wife Olesya Klebanova owns two companies. Both of them are associated with the beauty industry.

Olesya Klebanova

The first is "Le Grand" LLP, through which Olesya Klebanova owns the "niche perfumery" store LE GRAND PARFUM. The boutique is located at the Rixos Hotel in Almaty. The company together with the House "Scavia" launched the jewelry salon SCAVIA in 2013. Last year, the company paid 25 million KZT in taxes, and for the first six months of 2022 – 14.4 million KZT.

Stores of the Italian brand SCAVIA
Photos from the website scavia.it

Olesya Klebanova's second company is Be Couture. This company owns a beauty salon located in the Rixos Hotel. The company pays much less tax. A total of 1.8 million KZT for the first half of 2022 and 581 thousand KZT for all of last year.

Klebanov’s Connections

The Minister of Emergency Situations, Yuri Ilyin, flew to Ekibastuz immediately after the accident. His son, Igor Ilyin, was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Board at CAEPCO last year. This is the same holding that includes, among other things, the problematic Ekibastuz thermal power plant.

Igor Ilyin
Photo from the website kapital.kz

A stranger who was also not appointed to perform the duties of the akim in the Pavlodar region. Oleg Kruk served as President of Pavlodar Heating Networks JSC in 2007. Just at the time when Igor Ilyin headed the board of directors of the company.

Original Author: Yeleusiz Ramadan-Malik

Disclaimer: This is translated work, there may be differences (especially in abbreviations) from the original. Please refer to the original work for accuracy.

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