Jim Smith, president of a Envirosmith Engineering, a Dunwoody-based consulting firm, alerted GlobalFax upon his return from Atyrau, Kazakstan, last week of what he thinks will be numerous opportunities for Georgia companies to export equipment to the city which is to undergo extensive development.

Atyrau has some 200,000 residents and is located on the north end of the Caspian Sea in the heart of Kazakstan’s oil-rich North Caspian Basin.  International oil firms have invested more than $4 billion in exploration and production facilities, both on shore and off-shore, he said. “Atyrau is an odds-on favorite to become Kazakstan’s ‘Houston of the Caspian’ in the next 10 years,” he added.

The World Bank has hired Mr. Smith to complete a masterplan for $8 million of improvements to the city’s water and sewerage treatment system.  He also is to develop a budget for the project and organize a team to do the work.

He said that the water and sewerage system improvements have been designated by the bank as a “pilot project,” for a vastly larger $600 million infrastructure improvement plan for Atyrau.

The potential for imports, he estimated, could exceed $250 million to supply a wide range of needs from avionics for the expansion of the city’s airport to gas meters, traffic signals, pumps, pipes, as well as equipment for waste water and water treatment, heating and ventilating.

For more information, call Mr. Smith at (770) 522-0006; fax, (770) 522-0609, or send an e-mail to jimson@mindspring.com