The question is how big is the bird and will any of the proposed deals fly?
Competition for Turkey’s second and third nuclear power stations has heated up, but it isn’t clear whether any deals will be signed soon. China, South Korea, Japan, Canada, and Russia all want to supply the plants, which are expected to be about three-to-five GWe each depending on how many reactors are built at each site.
Turkey’s goal in pursuing a nuclear energy strategy is to gain energy independence from imported oil and natural gas and to boost export earnings through sales of electricity to other countries in the region.
The second plant is slated to be built at Sinop on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. The third plant would be placed north of the Bosporus channel along the Black Sea coast, but within spitting distance, as the crow flies, of Bulgaria’s border with Turkey.
Russia’s contract at Akkuyu
In May 2010, Turkey signed a contract with Rosatom to build Turkey’s first nuclear power site--4.8 Gwe of nuclear-powered electrical generating capacity at Akkuyu in Mersin on the country’s Mediterranean coast. The deal hinged on Russia’s financing and building four 1,200-MW VVER type reactors and operating them for 15 years, after which Rosatom expects to cash out to Turkish investors. The reactors are slated to be completed in 2019.
Rosatom was the sole bidder on the Akkuyu project after three western consortiums withdrew from responding to the tender over byzantine disputes about protection of intellectual property and guaranteed rates. For its part, after a long-tangled process, Turkey agreed to guarantee rates to the Russian plant.
Now the Russians want to build the second and third nuclear power stations, but they have competition. There is another reason why Rosatom is not a slam dunk for the second and third power stations. The price has gone up on the first one.
On July 12, Interfax, a Russian wire service, reported that Vladimir Ivanovskiy, Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, said that the Akkuyu nuclear power plant might cost Turkey more than planned.
"Inititally its cost was estimated at $20 billion, but I think it will be much more - about $25 billion," he told Russian journalists in Moscow. That’s not going to make the Turkish government willing to give the Russians an unconditional green light for either of the next two projects.
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