The Kazakh state-owned national atomic energy company Kazatomprom announced it intends to focus on uranium business and nuclear energy in the future, and that its solar manufacturing assets will be auctioned to the highest bidder, along with its unit producing caustic soda, through a two-stage tendering this year.
Kazatomprom said these assets are non-core for the company. In order to attract investors for its solar business, the company reminded that the Kazakh government is granting higher FITs to PV projects built will locally manufactured PV components.
“State supports solar assets in the form of a quota allocation with a total capacity of 250 MW at a tariff of 34.61 KZT ($0.10)/ kWh for solar power plants using photovoltaic modules manufactured in Kazakhstan,” said the company in its press release.
The company’s three solar subsidiaries form together a fully integrated PV manufacturing unit.
KazSilicon LLP operates a solar grade metallurgical silicon with a capacity of 5,000 tons of per year in Ushtobe. Equipment installed at the factory was manufactured in China on the latest German technology, Kazatomprom says on its website.
Kazakhstan Solar Silicon LLP specializing in the wafer production has a 60 MW factory Ust-Kamenogorsk, while Astana Solar, which produces polycrystalline solar cells and modules, operates a 50 MW manufacturing facility in Astana. The module factory relies on automated equipment provided by an unnamed European provider.
The three units were set up by Kazatomprom in partnership with a French consortium led by France’s government-run atomic energy agency CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives).
In January 2016, the Kazakh government announced a privatization plan to sell stakes in 65 large state-owned companies including Kazatomprom, flagship carrier Air Astana and Kazakhtelecom within four years.
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