Energy Metals, one of only five companies allowed to export uranium oxide concentrates from Australia, has shipped its very first uranium concentrate to China.
The shipment, expected to arrive in China by mid-October 2012, is bound for use of nuclear power operator China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd. (CGNPC).
China plans to build as many as 100 nuclear reactors over till 2030. It currently has 14 nuclear reactors with an operating capacity to produce 11.8 gigawatts of power or electricity. The country plans to increase to 40 gigawatts its nuclear-power generating capacity by 2015.
At present, CGNPC, one of only two authorised companies by the Chinese government to import and export uranium, operates six nuclear power stations with an equivalent 6,110 megawatts generation capacity. It will have an additional equivalent 17,540 megawatts generation capacity once it completes the construction of 15 separate power stations across various locations around China.
CGNPC will re-sell the uranium oxide concentrate to CGNPC-Uranium Resources Corporation.
China Uranium Development Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of CGNPC, owns Energy Metals at 60.6 per cent.
According to the Red Book report of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nuclear energy agency and the International Atomic Energy Agency, global demand for uranium demand will grow to between 98,000 mt and 136,000 mt by 2035, from the current 63,875 mt.
Two of CGNPC's 15 under construction nuclear power stations are expected to go online in 2012.