Kazatomprom ventures into nuclear build

29 April 2009

The third announcement from Kazakstan's state nuclear enterprise in as many days outlines a new deal to partner for power plant construction with China Guangdong.


Ling Ao Phase I
Lingao phase I. Further CGNPC projects
could feature Kazakh involvement
A memorandum was signed today by the two companies that should "see the establishment of a specialized company for the construction of nuclear power plants."


Kazatomprom said this came as a result of the close cooperation with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) that has followed a strategic partnership position agreed in 2006.


Agreements made by the pair in 2007 established Kazatomprom as CGNPC's main supplier of uranium and a supplier of finished nuclear fuel assemblies for the future. A CGNPC subsidiary has also taken 49% of the joint venture company that is developing the Irkol and Semizbai uranium deposits. Irkol was officially opened yesterday, while Semizbai is expected to begin production this year.


The new joint venture would specialize in the construction of nuclear power plants as well as construction management and oversight.


Kazatomprom made moves towards building and operating nuclear power plants at home in recent years and established a joint venture firm with Russia's AtomStroyExport for that purpose. These plans, however, have since been put on hold. The company said that cooperation on nuclear build was a "new area for partnership" with CGNPC that they have recently identified.


CGNPC's new nuclear build plans are so vast that there would certainly seem to be scope for Kazatomprom to gain involvement through a joint venture. CGNPC already owns and operates four nuclear power reactors at Daya Bay and Lingao, while the seven it has under construction make it the world leader in new build. Current plans see the company with a portfolio of 24 large reactors by around 2015. A further 28 reactors are at less firm stages of planning.