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Kazakhstan wants India to build small
Astana, April 16, 2011
Kazakhstan has shown interest in India
building small nuclear reactors in the energy-rich Central
Asian country and a feasibility study would be done in this
regard, sources said Friday.
Kazakhstan and India already have a civil atomic cooperation
act. But as visiting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets
President Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Kazakh capital, the two
leaders would sign another pact to enhance ties in the field,
an official told Indian journalists.
The official said that "they are interested in India building
reactors of the capacity of 235 MW. We will conduct a
feasibility study but this is not being considered actively."
Reacting to reports that Kazakhstan was considering exporting
processed uranium to India, the source said it was "welcome
for India" as it would solve shipping problems and would mean
lesser freight in terms of quantity.
Kazakhstan has been supplying uranium to India after an
agreement was signed in January 2009. It has the second
largest uranium deposits in the world, over 15 percent - which
experts say could last for over hundred years. According to
reports, Kazakhstan will produce 19,600 tonnes of uranium this
India and Kazakhstan, during the prime minister's tight visit,
would further their ties in the hydrocarbon sector too.
The two countries are to sign a pact according to which
India's ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) would acquire 25 percent
stake in the Satpayev oil block in the Caspian Sea.
The Central Asian nation has 1.82 trillion cubic metres of
natural gas reserves and 39.8 billion barrels of oil.
Manmohan Singh's visit - the first by an Indian prime minister
since 2002 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Kazakhstan -
comes at a significant time.
Manmohan Singh would be the first global leader to meet
Nazarbayev who was recently re-elected as president in a
controversial snap poll that he won by over 90 percent.
In June, Astana will host many meetings, including the World
Islamic Economic Forum, the Organisation of Islamic Conference
and the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
Manmohan Singh arrived here Friday after a three-day visit to
China where he held bilateral and multilateral interactions
with the Brazilian, Chinese, Russian and South African
presidents in Sanya.