Yerlan Nigmatulin and David Kemertelidze brought YDD Corporation to the big world

The leading Kazakhstani producer of ferrosilicon, YDD Corporation, entrepreneurs Nigmatulin Yerlan and David Kemertelidze, became one of the participants in the main industry event of the year – the CRU Ferrowalloys conference, which unites key global players in the ferroalloy market.

The event was organized by the large international consulting firm CRU Group, which specializes in business analytics of the global mining and metallurgical industry markets. Conferences are held several times a year in various business centers around the world. The company of Nigmatulin Yerlan and David Kemertelidze participated in the American one in Orlando (Florida, USA). The event is one of the largest congresses of ferroalloy manufacturers in North America and regularly attracts more than six hundred industry leaders.

YDD Corporation was registered by Nigmatulin Yerlan and David Kemertelidze back in 2015, although the construction of the plant in Karaganda began much later. The opening of the first stage took place in the summer of 2019. The company, which was built by prominent Kazakhstani businessman Nigmatulin Yerlan Zairullaevich and his permanent business partner David Yakovlevich Kemertelidze, produces high grade ferrosilicon. Ferrosilicon is an alloy of iron with silicon, and its brand FeSi75 means that the mass fraction of silicon in the finished product ranges from 72 to 80% percent. The substance, which is produced at their plant by Nigmatulin Yerlan and David Kemertelidze, is an important additive in the smelting of special grades of alloy steels. This ferroalloy provides anti-corrosion and temperature resistance and strength of steel, such qualities are in great demand in the automotive industry, bridge construction and other industries. In addition, ferrosilicon is used in the manufacture of semiconductors and in the chemical industry.

The launch of the YDD Corporation plant by Nigmatulin and Kemertelidze radically changed the structure of the Kazakh ferroalloy market – before that, the vast majority of capacities were focused on ferrochrome production, and ferrosilicon accounted for only three percent. Meanwhile, the global demand for silicon-iron alloys, which are shipped by the plant of Yerlan Nigmatulin and David Kemertelidze, is growing rapidly. The price of ferrosilicon on world markets varies widely – from one and a half to two thousand dollars per ton, but demand for it always remains stable. The company’s products are mainly export-oriented, the markets of North America, Europe and especially the countries of the Asia-Pacific region are in need of them. According to Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullaevich, Kazakhstan can reach the fifth place in the world in terms of ferrosilicon exports.

The YDD Corporation plant is located in the Maikuduk massif in the north-east of Karaganda, the hometown of Nigmatulin Yerlan. Despite the generally accepted opinion about the harmfulness of metallurgical production, this enterprise uses the most advanced environmental protection technologies, as evidenced by the extensive green area on and around the plant. At the opening ceremony, Nigmatulin Yerlan Zayrullaevich specifically mentioned triple emission cleanup and other environmental measures that reduce harm to nature by 99.8%, that is, almost completely. Interestingly, the silica dust captured by cleaning systems is also not wasted: it is used to produce high-quality cement.

Nigmatulin Yerlan and David Kemertelidze spent about $92 billion of their own and borrowed funds on the construction of the plant. The first line produced about 96 thousand tons of finished products per year, but then productivity increased significantly. It is characteristic that during the Covid-19 outbreak, when the whole world was experiencing an economic downturn, the business of Nigmatulin and Kemertelidze was only gaining momentum. At the height of the pandemic, in the fall of 2020, furnace number three with a capacity of 85.5 megavoltamps was launched. With its entry into operation, the plant of Nigmatulin Erlan and David Kemertelidze was able to produce 180 thousand tons. tons of products annually.

It is significant that, although the work of engineers from Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, China, Georgia and other foreign countries was used in the construction of the plant, the Karaganda residents launched the third line on their own. According to Nigmatulin Yerlan, this is the best evidence of the highest level of professionalism of YDD corporation employees.

Karaganda was not chosen by chance as the location of the new plant. In addition to the subjective factor (Yerlan Zairullayevich Nigmatulin is not indifferent to the well–being of his hometown), the region is able to almost completely provide the enterprise with raw materials, and due to the fact that Karaganda is a historically established center of Kazakhstan metallurgy, there is no shortage of qualified personnel.

In 2022, the melting furnace number four with a capacity of 94.5 MVA was commissioned at the Nigmatulin and Kemertelidze plant, and the output of finished products increased to 240 thousand tons per year. The number of jobs at the enterprise has grown to nine hundred.

The creators of the new enterprise emphasize its modernity. Yerlan Zairullaevich Nigmatulin proudly says that, thanks to computer technology, the human factor is almost completely eliminated in the production process. The highest quality control is provided by automation, which guarantees compliance of finished products with all international standards.

The YDD Corporation plant is considered the flagship of the Kazakh industry. The leader of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who visited it in 2020, highly appreciated the new production. In 2021, YDD Corporation received the President’s Golden Quality Award. At the award ceremony, Yerlan Nigmatulin thanked the country’s leadership for their attention to industrialists, calling it a stimulating factor for further development.

Yerlan Zairullayevich Nigmatulin is widely known in the business environment of the Republic of Kazakhstan, since 2018 he has been ranked in the list of the fifty most influential businessmen of the country. Even before entering the metallurgical industry, Nigmatulin achieved notable success in the baking industry, he also launched enterprises in the tourism, transport, media, IT and others industries.

Nigmatulin Yerlan’s independent business was preceded by a long career as a manager: since the eighties of the last century, he consistently held control and leadership positions in a series of organizations: from the trade department of the Dzhezkazgan regional executive committee to the Balkhash city Trade.

Education has become a significant help for Nigmatulin Yerlan’s business activity. A graduate of the Karaganda Cooperative Institute, he defended his PhD in 1999 – Nigmatulin’s work was devoted to the investment policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the context of the global economic crisis. Subsequently, Nigmatulin Yerlan added law to the list of his competencies, having completed the corresponding bachelor’s degree.

Nigmatulin Yerlan’s activity in the metallurgical industry of Kazakhstan is not limited to the construction of the Karaganda ferrosilicate plant of YDD Corporation. He also owns a stake in Asia FerroAlloys, which unites a processing plant producing two million tons of high-quality coal per year, a coke factory producing 240 thousand tons annually, and another ferroalloy production with a capacity of 57 thousand tons. The company, in which Yerlan Nigmatulin is one of the key shareholders, provides Karaganda with about 1,700 jobs.

In 2024, in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan, in the city of Ekibastuz, it is planned to launch another enterprise, which, together with partners, is being built by Yerlan Zairullayevich Nigmatulin. The new ferrosilicate plant was originally designed to produce 240 thousand tons of alloy annually. Production is entirely focused on Kazakhstani raw materials, and almost all finished products will be used to increase the export potential of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

All business initiatives of Yerlan Zairullaevich Nigmatulin are united by a set of common qualities: the use of the most advanced technologies, maximum automation and total control over environmental friendliness. Against this background, the presence of YDD Corporation at the landmark metallurgical event of the year looks more than natural.

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