Turkey's third nuclear power plant likely to be built in Thrace

Published 15.06.2018 00:00

With the first nuclear power plant currently being constructed in the Mediterranean coastal city of Mersin and another planned in the north, a third nuclear power plant is likely to be built in Thrace in northwestern Turkey.

While discussions on the location of the third plant are ongoing, no official announcement has been made as to its whereabouts or partners.

On a live program on Turkish broadcaster CNN Türk on Wednesday, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said the location of the third nuclear plant is roughly determined.

"It is highly probable that the third nuclear power plant will be constructed in Thrace given the high energy consumption. There is not a developed power generation mechanism in this region. Thus, the energy will be generated and consumed here. Details of the third nuclear power plant project will be unveiled this year," he said.

The construction of the first power plant began in Mersin's Akkuyu district with a grand ceremony in early April. The Akkuyu plant will produce approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power annually. It is estimated to meet around 10 percent of Turkey's electricity demand, which is equal to the power consumption of Istanbul, Turkey's largest metropolis.

The plant will consist of four reactors with a capacity of 4,800 megawatt (MW) of installed power with each reactor having a 1,200-MW capacity. To be completed by 2023, to mark the centennial of the Republic of Turkey, the Akkuyu NPP will produce approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power annually, once completed.

Turkey has launched the project for a second nuclear power plant in the northern Black Sea province of Sinop.

On May 3, 2013, an intergovernmental agreement on nuclear power plant construction and cooperation for the Sinop Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) was signed with Japan. As stipulated by the agreement, the Turkey Electricity Generation Company (EÜAŞ) will hold a 49 percent stake in the plant, while a Japanese and French company will have 30 and 21 percent stakes, respectively. The project is estimated to cost more than $16 billion according to Japanese sources. The Sinop plant will have a total 4,480-MW capacity of electricity generation with four reactors each having a 1,120-MW capacity.

Despite no official announcement being made, it was reported that Turkey is negotiating the third nuclear power plant project with China. During his visit to China in May 2017, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was reported to have discussed the third nuclear power plant with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jingping. According to presidential sources, President Erdoğan and Xi Jingping agreed to accelerate construction of the third nuclear power plant. Energy Minister Albayrak paid a visit to China last month and to discuss this nuclear power plant project with Chinese officials.

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