Kazakhstan to pay $486.3m for US N-reactor
TOKYO. July 9. KAZINFORM. Kazakhstan is to pay $486.3 million to buy a stake in US nuclear reactor firm Westinghouse from its majority owner Toshiba, news reports said Saturday. The Japanese giant will sign an agreement this month to sell a 10-percent stake in Westinghouse to state-run uranium firm Kazatomprom for slightly more than 60 billion yen, the Nikkei newspaper said. By forging ties with uranium-rich Kazakhstan Toshiba, which holds a 77-percent stake in Westinghouse, aims to secure stable supplies of the resource used by power plants, Jiji Press said. Toshiba expects to win more orders to build power facilities from power companies in the United States and elsewhere by having Kazatomprom in its alliance and securing a long-term supply of uranium, the Nikkei added. The tie-up will also help Kazatomprom expand its sales channels worldwide and accelerate mining projects, the Nikkei said. Toshiba and Westinghouse are also expected to transfer uranium-processing technology to Kazatomprom, it said. International energy firms are competing to secure nuclear fuel amid growing energy demand, particularly in emerging economies such as China and India. Japan now procures uranium mainly from Australia and Canada. Toshiba president Atsutoshi Nishida visited Kazakhstan in April with Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry Akira Amari, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said. Japan and Kazakhstan have agreed to cooperate in uranium-processing technology and trade, Kazinform cites Daily Times, Pakistan. US government approval is required for transactions in which a foreign entity takes a stake in an American business possessing nuclear technology, the Nikkei said. US officials have indicated that the deal poses no problems, the newspaper added.