Implicated company to build part of Turkey’s first nuclear plant

Implicated company to build part of Turkey’s first nuclear plant

Implicated company to build part of Turkey’s first nuclear plant

DHA Photo

Turkey’s Cengiz Holding, one of the partners of the consortium that will build the Istanbul’s huge new airport, has won the tender to build the marine hydro-technic structure for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, in the south of the country, the company announced on April 7.

Russia’s Rosatom will build and operate the Akkuyu plant, which will have a life-cycle of 60 years, at the cost of around $22 billion.

Four firms won the right last week to continue negotiations for the tender of the construction and design of Akkuyu’s marine hydro-technic structure, estimated at about $1 billion, but the final price is still unknown. 

Akkuyu’s tender commission completed the evaluation of bids from companies and decided on Cengiz Holding’s proposal, said the statement, quoted by Anadolu Agency. 

Rosatom initially pledged to have the first of the four reactors in the southern town of Akkuyu ready by 2019.
However, a senior Turkish energy official told Reuters in March that the project would not be online before at least 2022, given that ground-breaking has yet to happen. 

“The first reactor can be online at least seven years after the ground-breaking, so the 2019-2020 date is impossible,” the official said.

“This is a key project for Turkey. The schedule needs to be sped up,” Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told Reuters.

Ties to government, aborted corruption probe

Cengiz Holding has recently won a number of tenders for big projects across Turkey. Having made major investments in the construction industry and infrastructure works, its companies have also been part of a number of energy projects.
Just like the other four companies that won the multi-billion-dollar tender for Istanbul’s third airport, Cengiz Holding is also known for its close ties to the government. The company’s owner, Mehmet Cengiz, was implicated in the Dec. 25 corruption probe of late 2013, but the investigation, which was labeled as a coup attempt by the government, was later dropped amid a massive reshuffling in the judiciary.