ASTANA – Kazakhstan plans to hold public hearings and government consultations with experts on the construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP), said Minister of Energy Almasadam Satkaliyev at the July 25 press briefing.
According to the minister, the project is under review of the government. “We plan to hold public hearings and determine the construction site within a corresponding roadmap. Further decisions will be made based on the results of the public hearings and government consultations with the participation of experts,” he said.
He noted that the competition held by the Kazakhstan Nuclear Power Plants company, a branch of the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund, is valid.
“We have expanded the circle of participants and are working in compliance with the roadmap,” said Satkaliyev.
A shortlist of four suppliers with time-tested high-power reactor technologies with operational experience includes Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, and Electricite de France (EDF).
Given Kazakhstan’s focus on the development of large-scale energy, the minister noted that “it is planned to construct a large number of power facilities in the south of the country and modernize the Ekibastuz thermal power plant.”
As part of its modernization, which President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called a priority task, the Kazakh Ministry of Energy plans to reconstruct heating networks of 5.3 kilometers in length, repair five hot water boilers, and renovate three power boilers.
The need to improve the emergency response appeared after the disruption in the power plant’s work, which left the city without heat for more than a week in -30 degrees Celsius last November.
During the meeting of the Foreign Investors’ Council (FIC) last June, Tokayev noted that Kazakhstan determined the future NPP’s location and is in the process of studying technologies from potential suppliers.