6 Oct 2009 12:49

Kazatomprom, Areva form fuel marketing JV

ASTANA. Oct 6 (Interfax) - France's Areva and Kazakhstan's national nuclear company Kazatomprom have established a joint venture for fuel marketing, Integrated Fuel Asia Star (IFASTAR).

Areva chief executive officer Anna Lauvergeon and Kazatomprom president Vladimir Shkolnik signed the agreement on Tuesday in Astana.

Under the terms of the agreement, the newly created Paris-based IFASTAR will be owned jointly by Areva (51%) and Kazatomprom (49%).

"This agreement follows the signing of a Framework Agreement in September 2009, and reinforces the partnership between both companies in the front-end cycle. It confirms AREVA and Kazatomprom strategy to develop their positions in Asia, producing together the most important uranium production in the world: almost 30% produced in 2008 came from both companies," according to a joint press release.

"The mission of IFASTAR is to perform a Feasibility Study consisting of two parts: The assessment of the Asian market in view of selling integrated fuel packages (including all front-end segments and combining Kazatomprom's uranium resources and AREVA's fuel technology) to electric utilities operating in Asia. The assessment of the technical and economical feasibility of the construction of a dedicated fuel manufacturing line (400 tU/year) located at Kazatomprom's Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) site in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Kazakhstan)," reads the press release. Depending on the results of the assessment, and after decision of the partners, IFASTAR would run the sales of the products from this line while the fuel manufacturing itself would be performed by another joint venture, owned jointly by Kazatomprom (51%) and Areva (49%).