World Bulletin/News Desk
A Japanese-French consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., will build Turkey's second nuclear power plant, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told reporters in Ankara on Thursday.
According to Yıldız, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will sign an agreement on the $21 billion Sinop project on Friday during a visit by Abe to Turkey, Reuters reported. The new plant is seen having a capacity of 4,500-5,000 megawatts (MW), Turkish government sources have told Reuters.
Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, one of the builders of the Fukushima plants, will be joined in the project by Itochu Corporation and French utility group GDF Suez, which will operate the plant. The group has pledged to install an Atmea type nuclear plant, built by French nuclear engineering group Areva.
The Japanese-French consortium has been in talks with Ankara over the plant since the middle of last year, when firms from Canada, South Korea and China were also competing for the project.
Two French firms also bid on the project last year, though Ankara rejected their applications amid Turkish anger over a French bill making it illegal to deny that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago was genocide.
The project, Turkey's second planed nuclear facility, will contribute to a growing power output that will likely make Turkey Europe's third-biggest electricity consumer within a decade, displacing Britain. Ankara is looking to nuclear in order to make the transition away from imported oil and gas.
Construction on Turkey's first nuclear power plant in the southern province of Mersin is meanwhile scheduled to begin in 2015. Russian state energy firm Rostatom has estimated that the project will be completed in 2019.
Both plants have earned bitter and sustained criticism from Turkey's environmental groups and a wide range of analysts, who say the Akkuyu plant is to be built on seismically unstable land. Environmentalists have also questioned where Turkey will store is nuclear waste, though Russian officials have said the waste could be transported to Russia for storage.
Ankara eventually plans to build three nuclear power plants.Last Mod: 03 Mayıs 2013, 10:05