Rosatom in search for nuke investors

Rosatom in search for nuke investors

ANKARA - Reuters
Rosatom in search for nuke investors

Rosatom now seeks firms that want to invest in Turkey’s 1st nuke plant. DAILY NEWS photo

Russian reactor builder and supplier Rosatom is talking with a number of local and international firms interested in investing in Turkey’s first nuclear project, worth $20 billion, an official in its Turkish subsidiary said.

“Five Turkish companies have applied to become an equity partner. Also there are foreign companies who have applied as well,” Rauf Kasimov, deputy general manager of Akkuyu NPP, told Reuters in an interview.

He declined to name the interested companies.

Turkey is pushing ahead with an ambitious nuclear program to provide 10 percent of its electricity needs by 2023 and reduce its dependence on imports of oil and gas for nearly all its energy.

Its second planned nuclear power plant will be built by a consortium of Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Itochu Corporation and France’s GDF Suez.

The two plants will each have a capacity of 4,800 megawatts.

Kasimov said state-owned Rosatom had already secured the funding to carry out the work needed for the next three years and that its need for a partner was not urgent.

The project has so far been on schedule, he said, despite the potential for delays due to bureaucratic hurdles and Turkey’s lack of experience in nuclear energy.

“We don’t see a delay in the project. We expect construction to be completed by end-2019 and the first reactor to become operational in 2020,” he said.

Plans call for all four of the plant’s planned reactors to start generating power by 2023.

But the project has yet to obtain a construction license and approval of a key environmental assessment from Turkish authorities. Approval of the report was initially expected by November.

Kasimov said Rosatom now expected the report to be approved by the end of this year or in early January.

Only when the approval is granted will Atomstroyexport, the main contractor chosen by Rosatom to build the reactors, then open a tender to pick sub-contractors.