Kazakhstan started on Thursday to build the EXPO-2017 main exhibition center, which will be situated not far from Nazarbayev University, an autonomous research university located in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, according to the president's press office. President Nursultan Nazarbayev said at the inauguration ceremony that the exhibition center will be the most important construction object in the country and will be the new center of Astana. Astana was chosen by the International Exhibitions Bureau as the venue to host EXPO-2017, which will focus on the theme "Future Energy." According to the president, the complex, covering a total area of 1.74 million square meters, will be powered by green energy and serve as a place for scientists and the youth to carry out researches. Also an entirely new architectural concepts and technologies are going to be applied. In the complex there will be 4,000 apartments, a new hotel, a grand hall, indoor entertainment complex and retail outlets. Major construction works are planned for the period from May 2014 to December 2016.