France-based project management, engineering, and digital services company, Assystem has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Samruk-Kazyna, Kazkahstan’s National Welfare Fund of Kazakhstan during an official visit of Kazak President Kassym-Jomart to Paris. The MOU outlines areas for cooperation on Kazakhstan’s new civil nuclear power programme.

Under the MOU, Assystem will provide the possibility of training personnel and technical advice for the establishment of a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan. Assystem said it will “focus on developing the capability of local teams to enable the evolution of a new skilled eco-system around nuclear in Kazakhstan, which will bring many benefits to Kazakhstan in terms of jobs, the development of academic institutions and the wider economy”.

Stéphane Aubarbier, Assystem’s Chief Operating Officer said: “Each country has its own unique energy story, and in Kazakhstan while 70% of its electricity is from its abundant fossil fuel resources, its decision to lower this consumption through the introduction of nuclear power is supported by the country’s large uranium supply and its experience in the management of nuclear fuels. Nuclear power will be an ideal replacement for coal and gas in the country’s energy mix, bringing a secure and stable supply of low-carbon energy to the grid.”

According to Samruk-Kazyna “Given that France has vast experience in operating NPPs, Kazakhstan has made arrangements with French Assystem, which is going to assist the country with training for its personnel and provide technical consultations to facilitate the construction of the very first nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan.”

Samruk-Kazyna Chairman, Almasadam Satkaliyev, said in September that Kazakhstan’s projected energy balance “shows the need to build a NPP with a capacity of up to 2,400MWe by 2032”. He added that the project “will be implemented with the help of a group of international investors" who will consider "state-of-the-art technologies", he noted. Proposals from Russia’s Rosatom China National Nuclear Corporation, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and Électricité de France will be considered for the nuclear island. “Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, and experience in implementing international projects," he said.

Date: Thursday, 08 December 2022
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