3 May 2023 10:20

Kazakhstan and France discuss construction of first Kazakhstani NPP

ASTANA. May 3 (Interfax) - France expressed its readiness to cooperate on the project to build the first nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan, as well as to participate in studying the development of small modular reactors, the press service of Kazakhstan's Energy Ministry said.

Energy Minister Almasadam Satkaliyev and French Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Citizens Abroad Olivier Becht discussed joint energy projects between the two countries. They also talked about the commitments of their governments toward energy transition and the fight against global warming, including the development of renewable energy sources.

"The ministers welcomed the latest progress in the Mirny project, a project to build a 1 GW wind farm in the village of Mirny, which lays the foundation for this cooperation, in particular, the agreement reached on April 29, 2023 between the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, KazMunayGas and Total Eren," the press release says.

As a result of the meeting, the parties signed a joint statement on the agreements reached on the tariff for electricity as part of the Mirny project's implementation.

As reported, the project to build a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan is planned to be implemented by an international pool of investors. Construction is expected to take place near the Ulken settlement in the Almaty region. According to the Ministry of Energy, the work could take up to 10 years, with the cost of one power unit reaching $5 billion on average. In Kazakhstan's forecasted energy balance through 2035, one of the options is the commissioning of a nuclear power plant with a total capacity of 2.4 GW. The list of potential nuclear technology suppliers under consideration by Kazakhstan includes four companies: China's CNNC, Russia's Rosatom, France's EDF and South Korea's KHNP.

The Mirny village wind farm in the Dzhambul region in southern Kazakhstan will enter operation in 2026-2027. This will increase power generation from renewable energy facilities in the country by almost 50%. The preliminary cost of the project is $1.9 billion.