KazAtomProm extends cooperation with Chinese firms

15 December 2015

KazAtomProm has signed cooperation agreements with Chinese companies, including one for the development of Kazakh uranium mines and the construction of a nuclear fuel plant in Kazakhstan.

Kazatomprom-CGN December 2015 - 460 (Kazatomprom)
The signing of the cooperation agreements (Image: KazAtomProm)

During an official visit by Kazakh prime minister Karim Massimov to China, commercial terms agreements were signed between the Kazakh national nuclear company and China General Nuclear (CGN) for the fuel assembly plant and development of uranium projects.

The agreements were signed yesterday by KazAtomProm chairman Askar Zhumagaliyev and CGN CEO Zhang Shanming.

Under the agreement for setting up a fuel assembly production plant, a facility based on the existing Ulba Metallurgical Plant is to be built with a capacity for 200 tonnes per year. It will supply fuel to Chinese nuclear power reactors, KazAtomProm said in a statement.

No details were disclosed about the agreement for the joint development by KazAtomProm and CGN of Kazakh uranium mines.

Separately, KazAtomProm signed a trilateral agreement of intent with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and China's CITIC Group Corporation to extend their cooperation.

KazAtomProm noted that the three companies have a long-term strategic relationship and intend to strengthen their cooperation in the nuclear and power industries.

Under the latest agreement, a joint working group is to be established to define trilateral cooperation in different fields.

Kazakhstan signed a framework strategic cooperation agreement with CNNC in September 2007 and this was followed in October 2008 with another on "long-term nuclear cooperation projects" under which CNNC was to invest in a uranium mine. Late in 2007 KazAtomProm signed an agreement with both CGN and CNNC for them to take a 49% stake in two uranium mine joint ventures and supply 2000 tU per year from them.

In October 2008, an agreement was signed on cooperation between KazAtomProm and CGN on the joint development of uranium resources, production of nuclear fuel, the long-term trade of natural uranium, nuclear power generation and the construction of nuclear power plants. Another agreement signed at that time focuses on the implementation of long-term nuclear cooperation projects by KazAtomProm and CNNC.

More than half of KazAtomProm's uranium output is exported to China, with the possibility of this increasing with demand as annual production heads for 25,000 tU.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News