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It will eventually be capable of enriching the whole 6000 tonnes of uranium production from Russian mining JVs in Kazakhstan. The uranium exploration and mining JVs Akbastau and Karatau with Tenex started with Budenovskoye in the Stepnoye area of south Kazakhstan, which commenced production in 2008.
These complemented the Zarechnoye JV 250 km to the south which was set up in June 2006.
Future electricity demand will depend to some extent on the country’s role from 2019 in the Eurasian Economic Community energy market.
Also the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is planning transmission links from China.
The second JV with Tenex, confirmed in 2008, is for extending a small uranium enrichment plant at Angarsk in southern Siberia (this will also be the site of the first international enrichment centre, in which Kazatomprom has a 10% interest).
Kazakhstan has northern and southern electricity grids with some connection, and links to Russia and Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan respectively.
Electricity production was 91 TWh in 2015, 74 TWh (81%) from coal and gas thermal, 7 TWh from gas turbine, 9 TWh from hydro and 0.2 TWh from wind, according to KEGOC (Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company).
One of these was with Canada-based World-Wide Minerals Ltd (WWM), under a 1989 bilateral investment treaty between Canada and the USSR.* * WWM invested heavily in the country over 1996-97, upgrading and operating the Tselinny (TGK) uranium mining and processing facilities at Stepnogorsk, with an option to acquire 90% equity in them as well as developing additional mines.
WWM and subsidiaries entered into agreements with the Kazakh government, but claims that the government frustrated its endeavours, leading to a loss of more than million and its exit from the country.