Kazatomprom completes trans-Caspian uranium delivery

20 December 2022

Kazakhstan's national atomic company said the delivery of uranium owned by Kazatomprom and by the Inkai joint venture has arrived at a Canadian port.

(Image: Kazatomprom)

The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) was developed in 2018 to mitigate the risk should the usual primary route, via St Petersburg, be unavailable - the alternative route was developed because of the Port of St Petersburg being temporarily unavailable to Class 7 nuclear material when the city was to host football matches as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup competition. Kazatomprom has since maintained the route, which does not cross Russian territory, to provide an alternative route for delivering its material to western customers, and has used it for several shipments. The route passes through Azerbaijan and Georgia, so shipments must meet the requirements of the transit authorities in those countries.

Kazatomprom's shipments have continued to pass through St Petersburg, with no restrictions on its activities related to the supply of its products to customers worldwide. But earlier this year, Cameco - Kazatomprom's partner in the Inkai joint venture - had put deliveries of its share of Kazakh uranium on hold until an alternative route avoiding Russian railway lines or ports could be finalised. This shipment - which was dispatched at the end of September, according to earlier information from Cameco - is therefore the first of the Canadian company's share of Inkai's 2022 production.

Kazatomprom said in its October operations and trading update that its portion of the current shipment had reached the Port of Poti in Georgia, where it had been waiting for additional material from Inkai to arrive before being loaded onto a chartered vessel for its onward journey: the TITR requires chartered vessels to be used on the Black Sea, rather than commercial shipping companies, so material is consolidated at Poti to maximise cost efficiencies. The shipment has now arrived at its Canadian destination.

"Kazatomprom continues to monitor the growing list of sanctions on Russia and the potential impact they could have on the transportation of products through Russian territory. To date, there are no restrictions on the Company's activities related to the supply of its products to customers worldwide," the company said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News