On 30 August, Ukraine's State Property Fund (SPF) sold a 33.3-per-cent stake in the private joint-stock company Ukrainian-Kazakh-Russian Nuclear Fuel Plant (UkrTVC) for 47.8m hryvnyas (about 1.87m dollars).
The starting price of the stake, 921,000 hryvnyas, attracted six bidders. The winner was Kyiv-based Weiss Trade.
"We are pleased with the auction, particularly with a high competition which pushed the starting price almost 52 times up. We have shown all of Ukraine that we can hold such competitions in an open manner, and hope that the revenue will shortly be transferred to the state budget," the SPF press service reported after the deal.
The Ukrainian-Kazakh-Russian closed joint-stock company UkrTVC was established and registered in Ukraine in September 2001. It was owned by the State Property Fund of Ukraine, KazAtomProm and Russia's TVEL. UkrTVC was to provide Ukrainian nuclear power plants using VVER-1000 reactors with nuclear fuel, improve and develop the nuclear fuel cycle of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan, preserve and develop the existing technical and technological links between the nuclear industries of the three countries and create the new ones.
Kazakhstan was to manufacture fuel pellets, Ukraine was responsible for zirconium rolled stock and components for fuel elements and assemblies. Russia was to assemble fuel elements and assemblies.
However, the stated goals have never been achieved and the production of nuclear fuel has not taken off.
Ukraine, which runs 15 power units equipped with water-water power reactors with a nameplate capacity of 13.835 GW, has to buy fuel from Russia's TVEL and the American corporation Westinghouse.