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Ekibastuz

Ekibastuz is a town in Pavlodar Province, northeastern Kazakhstan. Population: 140-150,000.

The 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 southeast of Pavlodar. 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, named after the nearby lake of the same name, which means 'two-headed lake' in Kazakh (eki 'two' + bas 'head' + tuz 'salt').

The revolution in the Russian Empire, 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.

The status 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 Republic. At that time the population of Ekibastuz was approximately 25,000 people. Nowadays, the population of Ekibastuz is about 141,000 people.


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