Kazakh uranium producer Kazatomprom has agreed to sell its 50% interest (retaining only one share) in the Russia-based Uranium Enrichment Centre  (UEC) to joint venture partner Russian fuel company TVEL for RUB6.253 billion ($100 million).

Kazatomprom said the decision was based on its "value-driven strategy", as well as its review of current uranium enrichment market conditions.

UEC is a joint Russian-Kazakh enterprise established in 2006 on a 50:50 basis by and Kazatomprom to provide uranium enrichment services to the companies of Kazatomprom and Russia’s Techsnabexport.

The uranium is enriched at the existing production facilities of the Urals ElectroChemical Combine UECC in Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk region.

TVEL, part of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said the new arrangement will allow the parties to continue the implementation of bilateral cooperation in the framework of the project in a new format.

For TVEL it will simplify the corporate governance of UEC by consolidating the shares of the enterprise. Kazatomprom, by retaining one share of the joint venture, will continue to be provided with guaranteed access to Russian uranium enrichment services.

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service approved the transaction.
The parties expressed confidence that the implementation of the transaction will contribute to strengthening bilateral, mutually beneficial cooperation in the nuclear industry.

Kazatomprom said its interest in UEC was based on "an independent fair market valuation carried out by a major global advisory firm".

The transaction is now subject to approval by TVEL's board of directors.

Photo: Kazatomprom has announced plans to sell its stake in UEC (Credit: Kazatomprom)