Russia’s Rosatom in talks to bring Turkey’s power producer into nuclear project

Russia’s Rosatom in talks to bring Turkey’s power producer into nuclear project

Russia’s Rosatom in talks to bring Turkey’s power producer into nuclear project

Russian state nuclear company Rosatom said it is in talks about bringing in Turkish state electricity producer EÜAŞ as a new shareholder in a project to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.

Rosatom, which is leading the Akkuyu nuclear project, said last year it would sell 49 percent of Akkuyu Nükleer A.Ş., which will construct and operate the plant, to a consortium made up of three companies: Kolin İnşaat, Kalyon İnşaat and Cengiz Holding.

However, the final agreement was never signed. In emailed comments sent in reply to Reuters questions, Rosatom on Feb. 7 said that Kolin and Kalyon decided to pull out of the project after studying the deal in detail, confirming earlier Russian media reports.

Cengiz remains in the project as a contractor.

Rosatom is also in talks with Cengiz over other ‘partnership options’, Rosatom said. The Russian company said it expects new investors to join the Akkuyu project during 2018.

“This could be a single investor for the entire 49 percent stake, or a smaller stake or a couple of companies (could become new partners),” Rosatom said.

“One of the companies with which Rosatom is discussing the possibility of taking part in the project is EÜAŞ,” the company said. “We would be delighted if, as a result of the negotiations, EUAS were to join the investors and shareholders in the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project.”

During a news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in November 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the countries planned to launch the first reactor at Akkuyu in 2023 and that construction would begin in the near future.

Asked whether talks with the new partners could delay the project, Rosatom said that it expected to obtain a general construction license this year, which would allow the immediate start of works.

The cost of the plant is estimated at $20 billion.

Rosatom officials said last year that the project will be financed by Rosatom and its partners and will involve loans from export-import agencies and banks.

The company did not reply directly to a Reuters question about whether the change in shareholders would affect the cost.

Power from the project’s four 1,200 megawatt reactors will be sold mostly to the state with a small amount to be offered on the open market. Akkuyu is expected to meet 6-7 percent of Turkey’s electricity demand.