Published: Friday, Apr 15, 2011, 20:01 IST
Place: Astana | Agency: PTI
As part of enhanced cooperation in civil nuclear field, Kazakhstan wants India to build small reactors in this country and it has been agreed that a feasibility study would be conducted in this regard.
Discussions on furthering civil nuclear cooperation will be high on the agenda of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who arrived here this evening for a two-day visit during which the two sides are expected to sign an inter-governmental pact in the field.
The two sides will also be looking at ways to step up cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector when Singh and President Nursultan Nazarbaev hold talks tomorrow after which a pact is expected to be signed wherein ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) would acquire 25% stake in Satpayev oil block in the Caspian Sea.
India views the visit crucial in political and economic terms considering that Kazakhstan, a key Central Asian country, has been a supporter and a reliable partner, sources said as Singh arrived here from Sanya in China on the second-leg of his two-nation tour.
Talking about energy cooperation, the sources noted that Kazakhstan has been supplying uranium to India after an MoU was signed in January 2009.
Kazakhstan has shown interest in India building small nuclear reactors of the capacity of 230 MW in this country and a feasibility study would be conducted in this regard, the sources said.
At tomorrow's meeting, the two leaders are also expected to discuss the possibility of joint mining of uranium in Kazakhstan, which is known to have one of the largest reserves of the nuclear fuel.
There have been reports that Kazakhstan could consider exporting processed uranium to India, which is welcome for New Delhi as it would mean lesser freight in terms of quantity.