The production capacity is expected to be reached in the first quarter of this year, according to state-owned nuclear holding company Kazatomprom whose subsidiary Astana Solar operates the production plant.
Kazatomprom states that the plant will operate "on the basis of 100% Kazakhstan silicon". 175 Kazakhstanis will be employed at the production facility, some of them receiving training abroad. Astana Solar has already signed several take-off contracts.
The construction of the plant in Astana is part of a large-scale project realized by Kazatomprom in partnership with a French consortium headed by the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux energies alternatives, CEA.
The first project of the consortium, "KazPV", includes Kazatomprom, KazSilicon, Astana Solar and Kazakhstan Solar Silicon on the domestic side and CEA, CEIS, ECM Technologies and SEMCO Engineering on the French side. The French partners are providing technical support and know-how which has also enabled the Astana PV plant to set up modern automation.
Implementation of this large PV program is designed for five stages:
- Establishing production and processing quartz
- Development of high-tech silicon production
- Improvement of solar-grade silicon production
- Establishment of monosilicon ingots production
- Production of solar panels
The joint-project also aims to develop production lines in Ust-Kamenogorsk, in northeastern Kazakhstan. The project implementation period is up to 2028. Kazatomprom states that with this endeavor it enters into long-term strategic commitment to invest via Astana Solar into renewable energy sources and clean technologies as part of its business diversification program.