In remarks made during his meeting with The Anadolu Agency’s Editors' desk Friday, Yildiz recalled Turkey’s milestone last week, when it launched its first Turkish-made seismic vessel, the Turkuaz, at a cost of 300 million Turkish liras ($116 million).
The vessel, which operates under the state-owned General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration, has the capacity to carry out oil-and-gas exploration apart from conducting climate change and ecological research.
Yildiz revealed that after building Turkuaz, Turkey would now work on building a drill ship and a drilling platform in the country.
He said that Turkey currently paid around a million U.S. dollars per day as rent for such drill ships. "If we can build our own ships and platforms, we can amortize our costs in a few years," Yildiz said.
At the moment, Turkey has one more oil-and-gas exploration ship, the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, which is involved in marine seismic research.
About Turkey’s Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, Yildiz said that the Russian nuclear company, Rosatom, would build the plant.
"There may be some delays in its construction, but for me, the time that the plant comes into operation is more significant. If the first unit comes into operation later than 2020, then we can say the plant is delayed. However, any costs caused by the delay will be paid by Russia, according to our agreement," he said.
When completed, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant will be Turkey's first nuclear power plant with a capacity of 4,800 megawatts.