Areva and Kazatomprom have agreed to create a fuel marketing joint venture named IFASTAR. The new company, to be based in Paris, will be owned jointly by Areva (51%) and Kazatomprom (49%).
The aim 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 (400tU/year) located at Kazatomprom‘s Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) site in Ust-Kamenogorsk (Kazakhstan).
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%).
The agreement to create the IFASTAR joint-venture was signed by Areva CEO Anne Lauvergeon and Kazatomprom president Vladimir Shkolnik during the official visit by French president Nicolas Sarkozy to Astana (Kazakhstan) on 6 October.
It follows the signature of a Framework Agreement in September 2009, and reinforces the partnership between both companies in the front-end fuel cycle, according to company statements.
Anne Lauvergeon commented: "This agreement reinforces the strategic partnership between Areva and Kazatomprom. It will contribute to the diversification and security of our supplies by increasing available uranium resources for our customers."
"The signing comes as a further result of a constructive long term relationship between Kazatomprom and Areva and is, for us a further milestone in establishing a vertically integrated company, producing a value added product – fuel assemblies," Vladimir Shkolnik said.