Kazatomprom launches tender for sale of solar manufacturing units

Kazakhstan’s National Atomic Company Kazatomprom JSC has launched the tender for the sale of its solar manufacturing assets, an operation that was announced by the group in early May.

Through the tender, Kazatomprom hopes to sell 100% of its three units, Astana Solar LLP, Kazakhstan Solar Silicon LLP and MK KazSilicon LLP, for a total of 4,803 billion KZT ($14.2 million). The company said that acceptance of applications for the open two-stage contest will begin on September 8 and end on September 23, 2017.

The sales of the three subsidiaries is part of the group’s plan to focus on its core business, which is nuclear energy.

The three units, which were created with the support of a French consortium led by France’s government-run atomic energy agency CEA, form together a fully integrated PV manufacturing unit.

KazSilicon LLP operates a solar grade metallurgical silicon factory with a capacity of 5,000 tons of per year in Ushtobe, while Kazakhstan Solar Silicon LLP has a 60 MW wafer manufacturing facility in Ust-Kamenogorsk. Astana Solar, which produces polycrystalline solar cells and modules, operates a 50 MW manufacturing facility in Astana.

In order to attract investors for its solar business, the company said in May that the Kazakh government is granting higher FITs to PV projects built will locally manufactured PV components.

Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev, recently announced that he is planning to introduce an auction mechanism for large-scale solar and renewable energies. Meanwhile, several solar projects have been announced in the country, among which there are a 100 MW solar power plant in the Akmola region and three 50 MW solar parks being financed by the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBDR).