Kazatomprom (Kazakhstan) may be privatized in 2 years

15.03.00 00:00
/IRBIS, March 15, 00/ - REUTERS informs, with the reference to the head of Kazatomprom Mukhtar Djakishev, that the national atomic company Kazatomprom may be privatized in year 2001-2002 as it needs a strategic partner. The head of the company told the prime-minister that it (the company is fully owned by the government) needed a strategic partner while presenting him with 1999 results of the company. He also said the company could grow for another "one or two years" and by that time its value would increase. Last year investments into the production reached KZT2.118 bln. Kazatomprom, which deals in extraction and exporting natural uranium, production of compounds from the uranium with low concentration, fuel pellets for nuclear reactors, production of tantalum, beryllium and hydrofluoric acid, consists of South mining administration, Ulbinsk metallurgical plant and JSC Volkovgeologya. The management plans to make the company the third largest producer of uranium in the world by 2005. Presently, the company is attempting to get into Korean and Canadian markets with its uranium pellets. Djakishev said they had sent samples to Korea last year and that they were waiting for the test results. Another sample was sent to Canada. He says if the news from these countries is positive the company can receive orders for 100-200 tons from Korea and 800 tons from Canada. Now, all orders for Ulbinsk metallurgical plant are made by Russian customers. The president says Kazatomprom receives loans from local and foreign banks. Another loan from ABN AMRO Kazakhstan at 11% APR is planned.