In 2003, the Kazakh Minister of Energy and Mines announced plans for the construction of a new nuclear power plant by 2018. The two- or three-unit plant was to be established on the shores of Lake Balkhash in the Karaganda region of central Kazakhstan. However, these plans were later amended – in January 2013, PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev gave the government one month to submit new proposals for the construction of a nuclear power plant. In September 2013, the Director General of the NNC, Erlan Batyrbekov, recommended the construction of a nuclear power plant to ensure Kazakh energy security. In May 2014, Russia and Kazakhstan signed a preliminary cooperation agreement regarding the construction of a new nuclear power plant with a generating capacity of between 300 and 1,200 MW.