Ankara asks for an atom

Polina Smertina

Ankara offers Rosat-om, which is alre-ady building the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey for $ 22 billion, to undertake the construction of two more nuclear power plants – in Sinop and Igneada on the Black Sea coast. The Si-nop project looks the m-ost elaborate. Investors f-rom Japan and China had previously applied for these sites, but the parties did not agree on a price.

The project for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Turkish Sinop is more elaborate and has great chances for quick implementation, according to Kommersant’s interlocutors in the industry. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week, during a meeting in Sochi, invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to consider the construction of two more nuclear power plants of Russian design. The press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin only confirmed to the journalists the fact of the conversation about two nuclear power plants in Turkey.

These are two long-standing projects in Sinop and Igneada on the Black Sea coast.

The site near the town of Sinop is the most elaborated project. Since 2008, preparatory work has been carried out there for the construction of a nuclear power plant and a nuclear technology center. It was assumed that the construction of four 4.6 GW units at the new Atmea1 reactors would be a consortium led by the Japanese Mitsubishi and the French Framatome under the BOO (build-own-operate) scheme. Ankara refused: during the negotiations, the price doubled, to $ 44 billion, due to the cost of security systems.

The project for a nuclear power plant in Igneada, located 10 km from Bul-garia, is also not moving forward. In 2014, Turkey signed an agreement with the Chinese SNPTC and the American Westinghouse to begin exclusive negotiations on the construction of nuclear power plants based on the AP1000 and CA-P1400 reactors. The launch of the station was schedu-led for 2023. The progress of the project was not reported.

Erdogan, President of Turkey, September 30:

We have a goal – to build three nuclear power plants. I asked (Vladimir) Putin if we could build the remaining two nuclear power pla-nts together. Then, together with the Akkuyu NPP, we will have three NPPs

“We are always open to discussing opportunities expanding our cooperation with Turkish partners,” said Rosatom to Kommersant. They note that the state corporation, “in addition to international experience, has experience in the Turkish market.” Rosatom says it will be able to use the useful developments of the Akkuyu NPP project, including the developing localization of supplies, the development of partnerships with Turkish construction companies, as well as established channels of interaction with Turkish regulators.

Rosatom has been building the Akkuyu NPP on the Mediterranean coast since 2018. The plant, worth abo-ut $ 22 billion, will consist of four VVER-1200 reactors, 1.2 GW each. Moscow and Ankara signed an intergovernmental agreement on construction in 2010, the project is being built accor-ding to the BOO scheme. The investor will return the investment through a guaranteed sale of 75% of the electricity of the first two blocks and 25% of the third and fourth at a fixed rate. T-he launch of the first power unit is scheduled for 2023.

However, it will be difficult for Rosatom to finance two new projects in Turkey at once without additional state aid.

For Akkuyu, the state corporation received 51 billion rubles in 2015. from the budget, and subsequently attracted another $ 700 million in loans from Sb-erbank and Sovcombank, and also invests its own funds. Rosatom planned to sell 49% in Akkuyu to Turkish investors to reduce risks and financial burden. In 2017, Rosatom annou-nced the signing of a term sheet with a consortium of Cengiz Holding, Kolin Insaat and Kalyon Insaat, but the parties did not agree on commercial issues. The state holding EUAS was called a new possible partner, claiming 10% in the project, but there are no agreements. “The project is secured with funding, and we are ready to devote the necessary time to finding partners, as long as it takes,” said Anton Deduse-nko, deputy head of Rusat-om Energo International at the end of 2020.

“The increasing cost of traditional energy resources makes the construction of nuclear power plants in Turkey more attractive, and since nuclear energy is in the focus of the Russian government’s attention, attracting Russia as a partner is also attractive from a political point of view,” said Sergei Sasim of the Institute of Economics and Regulation of Infrastructure Industries, Higher School of Economics. In his opinion, there are also risks as-sociated with the prospects for changing energy consu-mption in Turkey, increasing competition with rene-wable energy sources, as w-ell as “general risks of im-plementing long-term and expensive projects in countries like Turkey.”

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