KINETIC FORCE

Azerbaijan 2015 | INDUSTRY & MINING | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Azer Shukurov, Director of Azinterpartlayish-X on executing complex projects, future objectives, and market competition.

Azer Shukurov
BIOGRAPHY
Azer Shukurov was born in 1963. He graduated from the Moscow State Institute of Mining, and, since 1991, he has held senior management positions in the field of mining in Azerbaijan and other countries. Since 2009, he has served as Founder and Director of Azinterpartlayis-X. For his contribution to the development of the mining industry, he has received the Azeri Business Award for 2011 and 2012, and has been awarded several other National Awards. He has been published in a range of newspapers and magazines on a variety of mining topics.

2014 is the Year of Industry in Azerbaijan. Which new projects you have been involved this year?

Azerbaijan has a rich history as a young, newly independent country. Despite a very short period since gaining independence, we have achieved quite a lot. The mining industry has been developing rapidly in the last 10 years. Along with the launch of large industrial enterprises, the major highlight of this year is the start-up of two new cement plants. We were involved with geological exploration and explosive works to provide these plants with raw materials. The Azerbaijan Steel Production Complex was created following the President's decree last year and started operations in 2014. We have signed a contract with them and are looking forward to a productive collaboration in 2015.

The use of explosives is a very complex business. How does your company handle such specific work?

There are special training courses organized by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. The trainees are being monitored by a commission and their proficiency level is verified on site. The trainees should also pass a particular exam to work with us. Our company has a number of certified specialists for such work, and some of them were certified by Orica. Orica Mining Services is a leading European company and explosives manufacturer.

How does Azinterpartlayish-X implement state-of-the-art technologies?

The majority of utilized explosives were imported from Russia and Ukraine in the past. They were manufactured by outdated technologies. I studied to gain global experience in this field—technologies used in Europe, America, and China—and selected Orica as a best one. As for drilling rigs, we have carried out an intensive market survey and decided to enter into partnership with the Japanese company, Furukawa and Swedish Atlas Copco. We have procured drilling rigs manufactured by Furukawa and Atlas Copco. Apart from that, we have also imported smaller machinery manufactured jointly by a German-Turkish venture. As the mining industry is developing rapidly, we are trying to keep pace with it.

What are the primary objectives of the company for the future?

Quite a few journalists have asked me about the name of the company; there is an “X." It should be noted that AZ stands for Azerbaijan, Inter stands for international, Partlayish stands for explosion and X stands for the mining symbol. Explosive operations are the main area of the mining business. We are eager to expand our area of business worldwide and start new mining industry activity. We are publishing “Yer ve ‹nsan" (Land and Human) magazine to increase awareness in the mining business and involve business people into this industry. Our main objective is to make the mining industry as one of the leading industries of Azerbaijan's economy.

What opportunities are there for further investment in the mining sector and your company?

We have offered to set up a supervisory government agency that would cover all the mining business segments. Setting up such a supervisory agency will be a great step forward in the mining industry. It is very difficult to show the potential capabilities of Azerbaijan's mining industry in figures. The development of this industry means the development of our company. It is worthwhile to highlight that our company's competitive and fair business operations are well known in-country, which expands our capabilities as well.

How competitive is the market at the moment?

There are several companies at the market now. We are also helping them as we can see huge potential capabilities in the mining industry in Azerbaijan. We would like to develop this industry, and build strong foundations for this development. There is a huge gap between us and other companies, and we run all major projects in Azerbaijan. The Mining industry is the only sector that can compete with the oil & gas industry, and I am quite optimistic about its potential capacities. I expect the rapid development of this industry in the coming years.