Akkuyu Nuclear receives sustainability loans from Sovcombank

09 March 2021

JSC Akkuyu Nuclear, a subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom, said today it had received two loans of up to USD200 million and USD100 million, respectively, for a period of seven years from Sovcombank to finance the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey. The loans are being provided on special terms, Rosatom said, including a reduction in the interest rate "when the borrower fulfills its sustainable development covenants". Sovcombank is one of Russia’s 10 biggest banks, with assets totalling RUB1.6 trillion (USD20.27 billion).

Akkuyu unit 1 (Image: Rosatom)

Rosatom's Deputy Director General for Economy and Finance Ilia Rebrov said: "By committing to sustainable development obligations as part of the loan agreements, Rosatom, by means of the Akkuyu project, exemplifies the new level of responsibility assumed by nuclear companies in implementing the world's sustainable development agenda."

Noting that nuclear energy produces no CO2 emissions, he said nuclear generation therefore plays a crucial role in ensuring that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced sufficiently to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, and to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

"At the same time, compliance with sustainable development requirements makes it possible to provide these loans on special terms, allowing us to be confident about the economic feasibility and advantages of 'sustainable' financing. The timely implementation of our projects depends on reliable financing, and we are pleased with this expansion of our cooperation with Sovcombank," he said.

Anton Dedusenko, deputy chairman and managing director for sustainable development and shareholder relations at Akkuyu Nuclear, said the Akkuyu nuclear power plant construction project is a 'flagship' project in several ways.

"Not only is Akkuyu NPP the first nuclear power plant to be built in Turkey, it is also the world's first nuclear power plant to secure direct 'sustainable' financing for its construction," he said. "One of Rosatom's strategic priorities is to contribute to the achievement of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and, together with our Turkish partners, we are working to make the Akkuyu NPP project a true 'showpiece' of Rosatom's achievements in the field of sustainable development."

Dmitry Gusev, chairman of Sovcombank's board of directors, added: "Sovcombank signed the Principles for Responsible Banking, approved at the UN General Assembly in New York in 2019. In the framework of this document, the world's biggest banks have pledged to build their strategies in ways reflecting the international climate agenda. Our cooperation with Rosatom and Akkuyu Nuclear JSC fully reflects this strategic commitment, and both Sovcombank and Rosatom are interested in developing low-carbon clean energy, an endeavour that is in line with Goal 7, that of 'Affordable and Clean Energy'."

Comprising four VVER-1200 units, the Akkuyu NPP project will be the first in the global nuclear industry to be implemented according to the Build-Own-Operate model. Once complete, the plant is expected to generate about 35TWh of power each year, enough to provide 90% of the annual electricity demand of a large city such as Istanbul, and to meet up to 10% of the electricity needs of the whole of Turkey. Turkey aims to bring unit 1 online in 2023, the centenary of its foundation as a republic. In November last year, Turkey's nuclear regulatory authority (Nükleer Düzenleme Kurumu - NDK) issued a construction licence to Akkuyu Nuclear for unit 3 of the plant, which is in Mersin province, in southern Turkey.

Rosatom said today that the Akkuyu project meets all the modern safety requirements of the global nuclear community, namely those established by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the International Nuclear Safety Group, as well as those stipulated in the European Utility Requirements.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News