During a ceremony in the capital Ankara on April 3, Turkey and Russia launched construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in the province of Mersin. Erdoğan said that the Akkuyu plant will become the 56th nuclear plant under construction in the world and the first reactor of the Akkuyu plant will put into operation in 2023. Erdogan added that the relationship with Russia is very important, referring to an agreement for Ankara to purchase long-range S-400 missile defense systems from Russia and the Turkstream natural gas pipeline project to transport Russian gas. Putin said that they are founding Turkey’s nuclear sector and they aim to produce the first energy unit in 2023, on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. He added that the nuclear plant will supply 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity demand. The plant will have a capacity of 4,800 megawatts in four units and a working life of 8,000 hours per year. In the first phase of the construction, two units with a capacity of 2,400 megawatts are planned.
Turkey’s TAEK atomic energy authority on April 2 granted Russian builder Rosatom a construction license to start work on the first unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Turkey’s approval for Gazprom’s onshore portion of the TurkStream gas pipeline’s second line is still pending, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on April 3. All permissions for the offshore part have been received and it is under construction, he added. Akkuyu nuclear plant will be built by Russia’s Rosatom on the Mediterranean coast for a price tag of $20 billion. Rosatom holds a majority share in the plant with 51 percent, while 49 percent was originally planned to be divided between a Turkish consortium of three contracting conglomerates under the name Cengiz-Kolin-Kalyon (CKK), but Kolin and Kalyon decided to pull out of the project because of an inability to agree on commercial terms. Rosatom has said it is talking to Turkish state electricity producer EÜAŞ as a new shareholder in the project.