China ‘has advantage’ in bid for 2nd nuclear plant

China ‘has advantage’ in bid for 2nd nuclear plant

China ‘has advantage’ in bid for 2nd nuclear plant

This photo shows the round-shaped reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui, Japan. The country is also bidding for Turkey’s second nuclear plant.

As the Turkish government nears the deadline it set for itself to announce the winning company of a bid for a second nuclear plant in the Black Sea region, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said China possesses an advantage.

China brings it own financing to the project and does not demand a Treasury guarantee, which are important advantages, Yıldız said at the Caspian Forum 2012 in Istanbul yesterday, Reuters reported.
However, China is also demanding a share in the discussed facility, Yıldız said.

Canada, South Korea and Japan are also bidding for the Sinop nuclear facility plans and the ministry had earlier announced the winner would be made public by the end of this year.

Russia’s Rosatom is building the country’s debut nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin and Moscow has also announced it would like to take part in Turkey’s future nuclear plans. The energy minister’s remarks matched a statement made by Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan a day earlier.

“Hopefully we will build three nuclear energy plants as of 2023,” Çağlayan said at a Dec. 5 meeting to grant new incentives for a Socar refinery. “One will be in Mersin and the other in Sinop. The Chinese have a very important offer. Once finished these two nuclear plants will generate 85 billion kWh of energy. The cost of such an amount produced with natural gas today, is $4 billion. But the costs in nuclear energy are almost nothing,” he said.

Two out of the four bidders for the second plant have taken steps forward in the process, Yıldız had said late last month.

Canada has been the latest country to join the race as South Korea is seeking a joint attempt with the United Arab Emirates to overcome financing problems.

The Fukushima disaster in March 2011 year may have hurt Japan’s bid as the country is currently revising its own facilities. TEPCO, the builder of the Diiachi facility in Fukushima had withdrawn from the Turkish tender, leaving the ground for other Japanese firms to enter.

Still, many experts speculate the Chinese plants are also raising security concerns as they usually depend on older technology. Turkey is considering nuclear power as a tool to beat its foreign dependency in energy, mainly to Russia, Iran and Iraq.

Meanwhile, Platform Against Nuclear, a local anti-nuke group said it will sue the Mersin plant, claiming it is against the official Environmental Impact Assessments Report and it externalizes the locals. Sebahat Arslan, a group spokesman, said at a press conference held in front of a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) office in the town of Gülnar in Mersin that the process was anti-democratic and unlawful, Doğan news agency reported.