World’s biggest uranium miner seeks extra shipping capacity bypassing Russia

(Image courtesy of Kazatomprom.)

Kazatomprom, the world’s biggest uranium miner, is seeking to boost the capacity of its alternative shipping route which bypasses Russia to mitigate risks from potential sanctions, the Kazakh company said on Wednesday.

Landlocked Kazakhstan has traditionally shipped most of its key exports such as oil through Russia. Kazatomprom said it shipped products via the Russian port of St. Petersburg throughout the third quarter with no issues,

“However, the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), which the company has successfully used as an alternative route since 2018, helps to mitigate the risk of the primary route being unavailable, for any reason,” it said in a statement.

The route goes from Kazakhstan via the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and then Georgia from where products can be shipped through Black Sea ports.

Kazatomprom has an approved annual quota allowing it to ship a total of up to 3,500 tonnes (of uranium) from its Kazakh mines via the TITR, it said. For comparison, Kazatomprom and its joint ventures produced about 5,400 tonnes in the third quarter.

“The company is working to increase the quota limit and is assisting JV partners if they would prefer not to receive their share of material via the established route that passes through the Port of St. Petersburg,” it said.

Kazatomprom said it had a shipment to Western markets in-progress on the TITR which was awaiting consolidation in the Georgian port of Poti.

But there is a risk of delays for shipments where the nuclear material is owned by Kazatomptom’s joint venture partners as “transit country authorities ask for certain shipment details and associated documents”, it said.

(By Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by David Evans)

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