Kazakhstan's Minister of Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev, announced on 11 October that it would begin to supply uranium to five Chinese nuclear plants from 2019.
The facilities are currently under construction and will be supplied with uranium fuel from Kazakhstan, which accounts for 40% of the worldwide uranium production and 12% of uranium reserves. The state-run company Kazatomprom has reduced the level of its uranium production by 10% for 2017 citing to a 47% drop in world uranium prices at the beginning of the year.
Kazakhstan has no operating nuclear plants but exports uranium in the form of pellets or triuranium octoxide, both of which require additional processing for use in fuel.
China is playing a growing role in Kazakh uranium exportation. In 2014, over half of Kazakhstan's uranium production was exported to China. The countries are also working together on a conversion facility, and Kazatomprom and China General Nuclear Power announced a joint venture in May aimed at producing ready-to-use fuel assemblies.