Turkish utility eyes large stake in Sinop project

12 May 2015

Turkey's state-run power producer Elektrik Üretim AŞ (EÜAŞ) expects to own up to 49% of the country's second nuclear power plant. EÜAŞ chief executive Halil Alis announced the plan to the Anadolu Agency last week during the 21st International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference in Istanbul.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in April approved parliament's ratification of an intergovernmental agreement with Japan to build a nuclear power plant at Sinop on Turkey's Black Sea coast. The future share of ownership in the 4800 MWe plant has so far been understood to be 65% for a consortium of Japan's Mitsubishi and Itochu, and France's Areva and GDF Suez, and 35% for EÜAŞ.

Alis told the news agency that EÜAŞ could own between 15% and 49% of the project. He added that EÜAŞ would seek to share its stake with Turkish private companies.

Areva and Mitsubishi will supply four Atmea 1 reactors. Construction of the plant is expected to start in 2017, once an environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been approved. Construction of the $20 billion plant is expected to begin in 2017 to produce 40 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity every year with its four reactors.

Construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant, in Mersin, on the Mediterranean coast, is to start this year or next, with the first of four reactors expected to be operational in 2019. Government and company officials on 14 April launched construction of the $22 billion Russian-designed Akkuyu plant.

Russia's Rosatom will supply four 1200 MWe Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER pressurized water reactors. The plant is being financed by Russia according to a build-own-operate model, under an intergovernmental agreement signed by Turkey and Russia in 2010. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.

The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning approved the EIA report submitted by JSC Akkuyu NPP, the Russian-owned company responsible for the project in December. Shareholders in Akkuyu NPP are Rosenergoatom (93%), INTER RAO UES (3.5%) Atomstroyexport (3.5%), with JSC Atomenergomont and JSC Atomtechenergo each holding 0.1%. Eventually up to 49% of shares may be transferred to other investors.

In November, Westinghouse Electric Company, China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and EÜAŞ signed an agreement to begin exclusive negotiations to develop and construct a four-unit nuclear power plant in Turkey. Westinghouse and SNPTC have a long history of close collaboration on AP1000-based nuclear reactor technology. In addition to the first four AP1000 units under construction at Sanmen and Haiyang in China, China's own CAP1400 reactor has evolved from the Westinghouse design.

As well as AP1000-based reactor technology, the agreement also covers all life cycle activities including operations, nuclear fuel, maintenance, engineering, plant services and decommissioning. No site has as yet been identified for the project, which looks likely to be Turkey's third nuclear power plant.

Turkey is counting on its new nuclear power projects to help boost its economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports. But Alis also told the Anadolu Agency that he did not expect Turkey to experience electricity supply problems this summer or blackouts similar to those experienced at the end of March due to problems with some transmission lines. "This year Turkey had a rainy winter season in which all hydro dams were at full capacity. We also have excess power supply with various energy sources," he added.

Turks go to the polls on 7 June to elect the 550 members of the Grand National Assembly, Turkey's parliament. The governing Justice and Development Party is seeking a fourth consecutive term in government. Its leader, Ahmet Davutoğlu, took over from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in August 2014.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News