Areva to Form Kazakhstan Uranium Joint Venture With Kazatomprom

Oct. 6. Bloomberg

By Gianluca Baratti

Areva to Form Kazakhstan Uranium Joint Venture With KazatompromAreva SA, the world’s biggest builder of nuclear reactors, agreed to form a joint venture with Kazatomprom to process uranium in Kazakhstan and sell the fuel to Asian buyers.

Areva will own 51 percent of the joint venture, the Paris- based company said on its Web site. Areva Chief Executive Officer Anne Lauvergeon and Kazatomprom President Vladimir Shkolnik signed the agreement today in Astana, Kazakhstan, during an official visit by President Nicolas Sarkozy. France’s government owns 92 percent of Areva.

A global shift to nuclear projects will lead to a 59 percent increase in worldwide uranium demand by 2030, the World Nuclear Association said in a report last month. Kazakhstan holds 10 percent to 15 percent of ‘reasonably assured’ reserves, the report said.

The joint venture, known as Ifastar, will assess market opportunities to sell the fuel in Asia and plan a manufacturing line in Ust-Kamenogorsk which will be able to produce 400 tons of uranium a year.