8/21/2009

Turkey to finalize nuclear tender by early September

Reuters - Turkey is aiming for a cabinet decision by the first week of September that will approve or cancel a tender to build the country's first nuclear power plant, said a government source on Wednesday. Turkey's Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz, said a decision on the tender, in which a Russian-led consortium of Inter RAO, Atomstroiexport and Turkey's Park Teknik submitted the sole bid, could be expected in August. The Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, made a visit to Ankara earlier this month to sign energy deals with Turkey, including an agreement on nuclear cooperation. Final approval of the Russian bid has been delayed pending a revision of the price at which electricity will be sold from the plant. The consortium has already lowered the planned price of electricity from the nuclear station by 27 percent after a slump in demand due to the economic downturn. The revised price of USD 0.1535 per kilowatt hour is still twice the current rates. Energy Minister Yildiz also said that depending on the final electricity price submitted, the government could take a public stake of up to 25 percent in the power plant. The fixed electricity price would be effective until 2030, and the plant is expected to become operative in 2016. Turkey is planning to build three nuclear power plants at a total investment cost of USD 20 billion.

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