Re­la­tion­ship with Kaza­khstan pays off

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHENG XIN

Over­seas op­er­a­tions are cru­cial to the ura­nium sub­sidiary of China Gen­eral Nu­clear Power Corp.

The State-owned en­ergy gi­ant has a par­tic­u­larly close re­la­tion­ship with Kaza­khstan through CGNPC Ura­nium Re­sources Co Ltd.

Key agree­ments cover ura­nium min­ing, nu­clear fuel pel­lets and nu­clear fuel fab­ri­ca­tion. CGN and Kaza­khstan’s Kazatom­prom are also in­volved in a joint ven­ture to build a fuel fab­ri­ca­tion plant.

CGN has se­cured 40,000 met­ric tons of ura­nium from the transcon­ti­nen­tal coun­try in north­ern Cen­tral Asia and East Europe.

“This has been done through ex­clu­sive sales con­tracts over the long term,” said He Yu, chair­man of CGN.

About 16,000 tons of ura­nium had been im­ported from Kazatom­prom, Kaza­khstan’s state-owned nu­clear com­pany, by the end of this May, ac­cord­ing to He.

Sem­izbay-U LLP is an­other a joint ven­ture formed by the two groups in 2009.

The com­pany was set up to de­velop the Irkol and Sem­izbai ura­nium de­posits,.

“It is now a ma­jor sup­plier for China’s nu­clear power sta­tions,” said Li Cheng’an, deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the fi­nance depart­ment at Sem­izbay-U LLP.

The two mines have an an­nual ca­pac­ity of 1,200 tons of ura­nium, Li pointed out. Up to 700 tons come from Irkol and 500 from Sem­izbay with 588 tons go­ing to CGN’s nu­clear projects.

Kaza­khstan has been an im­por­tant source of ura­nium

It (Sem­izbay-U) is now a ma­jor sup­plier for China’s nu­clear power sta­tions.” Li Cheng’an, deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral of the fi­nance depart­ment at Sem­izbay-U LLP

tons for more than 50 years with a steady out­put and high qual­ity yield.

“It is a win-win for both coun­tries against the back­drop of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive,” Li said.

Kal­mukam­be­tov Ai­dos, di­rec­tor of Sem­izbay’s min­ing op­er­a­tion, sin­gled out CGN’s cap­i­tal in­vest­ment and ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy for help­ing the site pro­duce 500 tons of ura­nium a year.

The joint ven­ture has also pro­vided cru­cial jobs in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

CGN’s Sem­izbay op­er­a­tion is the first Chi­nese over­seas ura­nium min­ing project.

“It has not only se­cured CGN’s ura­nium sup­ply abroad, but also helped the com­pany gain ex­pe­ri­ence in the op­er­a­tion and man­age- ment of ura­nium mines over­seas,” said Joseph Ja­co­belli, a se­nior an­a­lyst of Asian util­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture at Bloomberg In­tel­li­gence.

There are other tan­gi­ble div­i­dends for do­ing busi­ness in Kaza­khstan.

He, chair­man of CGN, is keen to pro­mote its home­grown third gen­er­a­tion Hua­long One re­ac­tor in the coun­try.

This is all part of the com­pany’s ex­port drive along the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, which con­nects Asia, Africa and Europe to a mod­ern ver­sion of the an­cient Silk Road.

“CGN will fur­ther pro­mote its re­ac­tors in Kaza­khstan, as well as other economies par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive,” He said.

of ura­nium im­ported from Kazatom­prom to China by the end of May

JIANG KEHONG / XIN­HUA

Con­struc­tion of a third-gen­er­a­tion re­ac­tor, us­ing tech­nol­ogy known as Hua­long One, starts in Fuqing, East China’s Fu­jian prov­ince.

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