Rosatom to sell 49 percent shares in Turkey's first nuclear plant project

DAILY SABAH WITH REUTERS
ISTANBUL
Published 27.04.2016 15:42
Updated 27.04.2016 15:46
This photo dated April 25 shows the construction site of Akkuyu nuclear plant. (AA Photo)
This photo dated April 25 shows the construction site of Akkuyu nuclear plant. (AA Photo)

Facing financial problems, Russia's state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom is conducting talks with Turkish construction firm Cengiz to sell 49 percent of the shares in Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project, which would be the country's first nuclear power plant when completed.

Wholly owned by Rosatom, the $20 billion project has been complicated by the deterioration in ties between the two countries after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane breaching its airspace over the Turkey-Syria border in November 2015.

In December, Turkish energy officials said state-owned Rosatom had stopped construction work on the project. President Vladimir Putin subsequently said the decision on the future of the plant would be purely commercial.

"Talks have been continuing for some time with Cengiz Construction on the sale of up to 49 percent of Akkuyu," the source told Reuters.
Cengiz last year won a tender to build some of the Akkuyu plant's structures. Rosatom declined to comment on the issue.

The sale of a 49 percent stake is a provision of the inter-government agreement to build the plant signed by the two countries in 2010. Talks on the sale have been held with other investors previously and could be held again, the source said.

He said there was no timescale for the sale and there was no foreign investor interest at the moment, adding that there was no political dimension to the sale.

"The sale of the shares has nothing to do with the political process between Turkey and Russia following the downing of the plane," he said.
Keen to wean itself off an almost complete dependence on imported energy, Turkey in 2013 commissioned Rosatom to build four-1,200 megawatt (MW) reactors at Akkuyu, near Mersin on the Mediterranean coast.

The construction was recently inspected by Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak on April 25.

The Akkuyu plant is not scheduled to come on online before 2022 and has faced delays due to regulatory hurdles and Moscow's financial woes.
In 2013, the Turkish government picked a Japanese-French consortium to build a second nuclear plant in northern Sinop province at an estimated cost of $22 billion.

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