Turkish government offers to take stake of Mersin project

10 August 2009

The Turkish government has offered to take a 15-25% share in the proposed Mersin nuclear power plant construction project, according to a Financial Times report. But it remains unclear whether the project will go ahead.

A Russian-led consortium of Atomstroyexport, Inter RAO UES and Turkish firm Park Teknik was the only bidder of six to return a final price for a nuclear power station in September 2008.

Unlike other bidders, the consortium did not request financing from the Turkish government, but instead requested the right to sell the electricity generated to the country at a set price for 15 years.

The FT reported that Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz said that the country would pay for a stake of the project to reduce the cost of electricity.

The entire deal appears to depend on that price, which has now changed publicly three times. In January, the consortium lowered its offer price from $0.2116/kWh to $0.2079/kWh. In the run-up to the meeting, the Turkish ministry of energy complained that the latter price was about three times too high, according to a report in the Russian daily newspaper Gudok. Press reports of the current figure vary between $0.15/kWh -$0.12/kWh with the additional Turkish capital.

On August 6, Russia and Turkey signed a deal for a new gas pipeline through the Black Sea. That day, the two countries also signed two agreements about nuclear energy cooperation. The first ensures the "firm legal basis for the actively developing Russian-Turkish cooperation in the field of [the] peaceful use of nuclear energy," according to a Rosatom press release. That wide-ranging agreement covers possible cooperation in R&D, new-build, decommissioning, fuel, regulation, radwaste and security. The second agreement concerns incident notification. It "stipulates that in case of possible accident the parties should notify each other of possible trans-border transfer of radioactive matters and regulates the procedure for exchange of information about nuclear facilities: such information should be provided upon request but at least once a year," Rosatom said.

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