2/25/2009

Russia could spend USD 7 billion on Turkish nuclear plants

Reuters - Sergei Shmatko, the Russian Minister of Energy, said last week that a state-backed consortium could spend up to USD 7 billion on a project to build four nuclear reactors in Turkey, whose total cost is USD 18-20 billion. Speaking on the sidelines of an energy conference, Minister Sergei Shmatko said a consortium led by state nuclear engineering firm Atomstroyexport and electricity trader Inter RAO have submitted a letter of intent to participate in the Turkish government tender. The consortium is also to include a Turkish minority partner that Shmatko identified as Ciner Group. "We have to provide 30-35 percent of the funds from our own resources, and we will need to secure the rest on the market" Shmatko said. “The Turkish government does not intend to provide any of the funding”, he added. Shmatko added that the four reactors would each have a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, and that the consortium could receive about USD 60 billion by supplying more than 400 billion kilowatt hours of power over 15 years. Ankara is seeking to develop a nuclear power industry in order to reduce its reliance on foreign energy imports and boost capacity to meet growing demand. Atomic energy is expected to cover 20 percent of the nation's electricity needs by 2030. Shmatko said Turkey wants ultimately to build at least 25 nuclear reactors.