* Secures top spot as world’s largest producer
* Expects global shortage by 2016
(Adds details, background, repeats to broaden distribution)
ALMATY, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan will produce 13,900 tonnes of uranium this year and 18,000 tonnes in 2010, state nuclear company Kazatomprom said on Wednesday, raising earlier forecasts.
The Central Asian state became the world’s largest uranium producer this year and has been responsible for the bulk of global output growth in the last few years.
“As the nuclear energy industry develops and supplies from secondary sources decrease, a global shortage of uranium is forecast starting from 2016,” Kazatomprom said in a statement.
“To cover the expected shortage, an increase in uranium production in Kazakhstan to 18,000 tonnes is planned in 2010.”
The company has earlier said it would produce 13,500 tonnes of uranium this year and a state welfare fund official in charge of mining said this month 2010 output would be 15,000 tonnes.
Kazakhstan produced 8,521 tonnes of uranium last year, up from 6,637 tonnes in 2007.
Kazatomptom's joint ventures with companies such as France's Areva CEPFi.PA and Canada's Uranium One UUU.TO account for a large share of Kazakh output. (Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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