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Turkey may take stake in nuclear plant

Istanbul, August 1, 2009

The Turkish government may take a stake in the country's first nuclear power plant, which is to be built by Russia's Atomstroiexport for a price tag of up to $8 billion, the Sabah newspaper said on Saturday.

Turkey has delayed final approval of the 2008 tender over the price Atomstroiexport and its partners Inter RAO of Russia and Turkey's Park Teknik seek to charge for electricity generated by the plant, to be built on the Mediterranean coast.

A state energy company may now become a partner in the project to boost investment and ensure its completion, Sabah said, citing unidentified government officials.

Atomstroiexport, Russia's state-run nuclear power equipment maker, and its partners were the only bidders in a September 2008 tender for Turkey's first nuclear licence.

The Turkish Energy Ministry also wants Atomstroiexport to lower its proposed power prices, which are about double the country's current rates, Sabah said.

Turkey has guaranteed power purchases from the plant for 15 years to encourage investment. It wants to launch an atomic power industry to reduce its reliance on foreign fuel imports and cover a looming shortfall in electricity.

The government sees nuclear power meeting 20 percent of Turkey's electricity needs by 2030. Turkey has cancelled four previous attempts to build a nuclear plant, beginning in the late 1960s, due to the high cost and environmental concerns. – Reuters




Tags: Russia | Turkey | Istanbul | Nuclear power |

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