The Nuclear Industry Association of Turkey (NIAT) is encouraging mergers between local and foreign nuclear companies in a bid to contribute to domestic economic growth, according to the association's secretary-general Koray Tuncer.
He told Turkey's Anadolu Agency on 10 February that NIAT had already signed several cooperation agreements with foreign nuclear industry representative bodies, aimed at helping Turkish firms win a share of future supply chain orders for projects at home and abroad. "We strive to transfer technology and experience from abroad to make Turkish firms the suppliers of nuclear projects," he said.
Tuncer added that many domestic companies "cannot directly provide materials for nuclear power plants, but they can join the supply chain by merging with other companies that can provide materials for the existing projects". NIAT estimates Turkey's nuclear market to be worth about $40bn. Turkey has two NPPs in development - one at Akkuyu in cooperation with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and one at Sinop with an Areva-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries joint venture.
Although there has been some uncertainty about the Russian project following political tensions over Syria, Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak, a told a meeting of the parliamentary committee on budget on 10 February that Turkey plans to commission the Akkuyu NPP by 2022. He noted that 307 Turkish students were being trained in Russia in relation to the project.
The previous day, Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karl, said Russia has not cancelled joint energy projects with Turkey, such as the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and the Akkuyu NPP, despite the deterioration in bilateral relations, but that their future depends on Ankara. The report on site parameters (RSP) for theAkkuyu NPP was submitted to the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority for agreement, by project company Akkuyu Nuclear in January. Approval of the RSP is necessary before regulators can issue a construction licence.