Turkey, Japan scrap partnership in Sinop nuclear plant in Turkey’s north

Turkey, Japan scrap partnership in Sinop nuclear plant in Turkey’s north

Turkey, Japan scrap partnership in Sinop nuclear plant in Turkey’s north

Turkey is reassessing its major partner for the country’s second nuclear plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said on Jan. 19.

In an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Dönmez said that the time schedule and pricing of the nuclear power plant in Sinop fell short of the ministry’s expectations after the results of feasibility studies, carried out by Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., came out.

“We agreed with the Japanese side to not continue our cooperation regarding this matter,” Dönmez said.

The minister added that Turkey can hold talks with other suppliers for the construction of the nuclear plant.

The project was agreed on by the Japanese and Turkish governments in 2013. A consortium led by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries had been conducting a feasibility study until March for the construction of a 4,500-megawatt plant in Sinop.

Regarding Turkey’s other nuclear projects, Dönmez said that the construction license for the second unit of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was given in August 2019 and the construction is expected to start soon.

He added that the application for the third unit’s construction was completed last year, but the Nuclear Regulatory Authority is currently evaluating a limited work permit that will allow preparatory work.

An intergovernmental agreement was signed between Turkey and Russia in May 2010 for Akkuyu NPP, the first nuclear plant of Turkey that will have four VVER-1200 power reactors with a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts.

Upon completion, the plant will generate about 35 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, with a service life of 60 years.

The first reactor of the plant is planned to be operational in 2023.

Rosatom on Dec. 28 announced that Akkuyu signed an agreement to obtain coolant system equipment for turbine instalments.

To supply equipment for systems that will provide cooling water for turbine capacitors, Rosatom’s energy engineering division Atomenergomash, Russian firm NPO TsNIITMASH, and Germany’s Taprogge GmbH signed a deal with Akkuyu.

Share of local and renewable energy increases to 62 pct

Dönmez also said Turkey saw an increase in the share of local and renewable resources for the country’s electricity production.

Electricity production from local and renewables sources in 2019 amounted to 62 percent compared to 49 percent in 2018, a 13 percent increase, he further elaborated.

“In 2019, electricity generated from hydropower plants was above the average for many years. Renewable energy depends on meteorological events and with the shutdown of power plants that do not meet their environmental obligations electricity generated from domestic coal may show some decline in 2020,” he said.

“When these two issues are considered together, the domestic rate for 2020 is estimated to be over 50 percent,” he added.

Turkey-Russia meetings on natural gas continue

The minister also underlined that meetings regarding the pricing continue between Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) and Russian gas produces Gazprom.

TurkStream does not bring out a new agreement regarding natural gas supply. The meetings on pricing and the enforcement of current agreements continue between BOTAŞ and Gazprom,” he said.

Dönmez also conveyed that with the launch of TurkStream on Jan. 7, Turkey started to supply the gas from the gas receiving terminal in Kıyıköy, the country’s main onshore section, rather than from the Bulgarian border.

Russia is building TurkStream in two pipelines, each with an annual capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters (bcm).

The first pipeline is aimed at supplying Turkey and the second would run further from Bulgaria to Serbia and Hungary. Bulgaria hopes to be able to make shipments to Serbia by May and build the whole section by year-end.

Russian gas producer Gazprom started shipping about 3 bcm of gas to Bulgaria via TurkStream on Jan. 1, replacing a route that formerly passed through Ukraine and Romania