Turkey to have 23 nuclear units, minister says
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
‘We want to meet our increasing energy needs by erecting at least 23 nuclear units by the year 2023,’ says Energy Minister Taner Yıldız at WEF’s Istanbul meeting. AA photo
Turkey is determined to build nuclear power plants, and will establish 23 nuclear units by 2023, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldız said yesterday at a panel discussion titled “The New Energy Corridor,” part of the World Economic Forum.
There are more than 440 nuclear power plants in the world, and while nuclear power plants involve risks, they also offer many opportunities, Anatolia news agency quoted Yıldız as saying.
“We are a country without a nuclear power plant. However, we are determined to have nuclear power plants. We want to meet our increasing energy needs by erecting at least 23 nuclear units by the year 2023. This implies building nuclear power plants in three regions of Turkey,” Yıldız said. At least half of all nuclear power plants are located in three countries, the United States, France and Japan, Yıldız said, adding that there was a relationship between a country’s development and its nuclear power plants.
“We can see that accidents, as in Fukushima, do not [negatively] affect decisions to have and operate nuclear power plants,” Yıldız said.
Turkey-northern Iraq pipeline
Also speaking at the forum, northern Iraq’s Energy Minister Ashti Hawrami said a pipeline to Turkey may be completed in two years’ time. “We see Turkey as a very big market for gas exports,” he said, adding that a pipeline capacity of at least 1.5-2 million barrels was needed.
Speaking about the Nabucco project at the forum, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev said, “Nabucco was initially a 5-7 billion euro project, but it grew to a 20 billion euro [project]. This [increasing cost of the unrealized project] is not meaningful.”
A fall in diesel prices quickly followed a recent drop in gasoline prices, Yıldız said, speaking on the sidelines of the forum. “There has been an eight to 10 kuruş price drop in diesel [prices]. I believe gasoline prices will drop in the coming days, as well.” Turkey has an automatic pricing mechanism, under which a change with a value of at least three percent in either direction, positive or negative, is reflected on retail market prices, Yıldız said.
Some 17 million street lamps will be replaced by LED bulbs by 2015, resulting in 75 percent savings in electricity costs, Yıldız said, according to daily Hürriyet. Turkey pays a huge electricity bill of 650 million Turkish Liras for street lamps, which will decrease to 150 million after the bulb replacement, according to Yıldız.
The cost of the project is between 3 or 4 billion liras, and it will be financed without placing any burden on public finances, Yıldız said. No firms in Turkey currently manufacture LED bulbs, but manufacturing them in Turkey will be set as a condition of the project, he said, adding that LED bulbs manufactured in Turkey by foreign companies will be accepted as locally produced.