Ekibastuz ( ) is a town in
It has a population of 127,200 (1999
census). It is served by Ekibastuz Airport.
history of Ekibastuz begins in the 19th century, when Kosym
Pshembayev, a native Kazakh who was
commissioned by Russian merchants to look for mineral resources in
that region, alighted on a coal field south-east of Pavlodar.
marked the place with two big lumps of salt. This identification
gave the place its name: "Ekibastuz" means "two lumps of the salt"
. The commercial
exploitation of the field started soon after. The field afterwards
was sold to a British businessman named Urquart. The railway
connection was constructed and the village "Ekibastuz" was
established in 1899.
The revolution in the Russian
, as well as two World Wars, distracted the attention of
the state from the exploitation of the field. The village was
totally deserted. However, in 1948 the first team (only 50 people)
started construction of the future town. The borders of the future
open-cast coal fields were also marked at that time.
December 1954 was a significant period for Ekibastuz, because the
first train loads of coal were loaded. From that time the
industrial development of Ekibastuz started. In 1955 the millionth
ton of the coal was produced.
of the "town" was given to Ekibastuz on July
12, 1957 by a decree of the Presidium of the
Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist
At that time the population of Ekibastuz was
approximately 25,000 people. Nowadays, the population of Ekibastuz
is about 141,000 people.
Ekibastuz there are two coal fired power plants: GRES-1, with
installed capacity of 4,000 MW, and GRES-2, with an installed capacity of
1,000 MW. GRES-2 has the tallest
chimney in the world (419.7 m).
The construction of GRES-2 was part of a Program for Ekibastuz
coalfield development, foreseeing to be built four Thermal Power
Plants each one of 4,000 MW (8 units x 500 MWe). In years
1991-93 only Units No 1 & 2 were commissioned. The construction
of Unit No 3 was started 1990 but later stopped.
From Ekibastuz to Kokshetau runs an overhead powerline
designed for a
transmission voltage of 1,150 kV, the Ekibastuz-Kokshetau
Today Ekibastuz is the biggest open-cast coal field and one of the
most perspective open-cast coal regions in the world. It contains
more than 13 billion tons of coal in the area of 62 square
kilometers. In other words, there are 74 million tons of coal per
It was the
location of a major labor camp of the
Gulag system maintained by the Soviet Union from the 1920s to the 1950s. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
served in this
- Kengir, a related camp and site of
uprising partly supported by prisoners from Ekibastuz.
- Diagram of 25 tallest flue gas stacks