ASTANA – The giant French concessions company Vinci is set to begin construction of a world-class cancer center in Kazakhstan’s capital to serve all of Central Asia, Vinci’s top representative in Astana, Timour Jabua, told EFE on Thursday.
“The design of the project is now at the final stage, and in late April or early May of this year we will start construction work,” Jabua said.
The cost of the project is some 275 million euros ($337 million) and construction is set to be completed in 2021.
The hospital and research facilities, a joint project of the Nazarbayev University and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) aim to meet the latest scientific and technological advances in the field of cancer research and treatment.
“The complex will not only combine a hospital, a polyclinic and a hotel, but also a cyclotron – a type of particle accelerator – which requires a special and careful approach to its construction. This project belongs to the high complexity category,” Jabua added.
The cyclotron applies positron emission tomography (PET), a technique used to detect different forms of cancer in the human body.
“Our task is to keep the new Central Asian center in tune with the times. For example, proton therapy, which was created only five years ago, may be obsolete when the construction is completed,” Jabua explained.
Therefore, the new Kazakh complex is to give great importance to its technological equipment to be able to collaborate with the UPMC and European institutions in the future.
According to the head of the company, the idea to build a new oncology center belongs to Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who in 2011 set out to create a state-of-the-art medical cluster in the Central Asian country.