A consortium of Turkish companies yesterday signed an agreement with Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom on the main conditions for acquiring a 49% stake in JSC Akkuyu Nuclear, the company that will build and operate Turkey's first nuclear power plant.

The agreement - signed by Cengiz Holding, Kolin İnşaat Turizm Sanayi ve Ticaret AŞ and JSC "Kalyon İnşaat" - was signed on the side lines of the IX AtomExpo International Forum that Rosatom is hosting this week in Moscow. It sets out the main conditions for the companies to buy a 49% stake in JSC Akkuyu Nuclear, currently wholly owned by Rosatom subsidiary JSC Rusatom Energy International.

The signing of the agreement (Image: Akkuyu Nukleer)

JSC Akkuyu Nuclear was created as a project company subsidiary by Rosatom in 2010 to manage the project to build and operate the four-unit Akkuyu nuclear power plant in the Turkish province of Mersin. Although initially 100% Russian-owned, Rosatom said it would sell up to 49% of the company to other investors from Turkey and elsewhere, but will retain the 51% controlling stake.

Rosatom said the value of the transaction with the Turkish consortium will not be disclosed until a shareholders agreement is signed, which is expected before the end of this year.

Although not already involved in nuclear power projects, the three Turkish companies have all been involved in other energy projects and are the leading sellers and distributors in the Turkish electricity market. "The combination of such strong shareholders will lead to a great synergetic effect in the implementation of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project," Rosatom said.

It said the Turkish consortium plans to take an active role in the construction of the plant and in the management of JSC Akkuyu Nuclear. Rosatom noted that one of the companies - Cengiz Holding - is already participating in the Akkuyu project as a contractor for the turnkey construction of offshore hydraulic structures.

Kirill Komarov, Rosatom deputy director-general for development and international business, told World Nuclear News: "This is a critical event for us as it the first time we are partnering with such a big consortium of private investors. In Finland, the model already existed and we are a junior partner, but in Turkey it's the opposite." He added, "What's important is that the companies that are partners that have joined this project are Turkish construction companies that have not yet constructed nuclear power plants, but have constructed large-scale industrial facilities, like bridges and airports."

The project to build four 1200 MWe Gidropress-designed AES-2006 VVER pressurized water reactors at Akkuyu is being financed by Russia under a build-own-operate model, in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement Turkey and Russia signed in 2010. The plant is scheduled to start operations on 29 October, 2023 - the centenary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

The Turkish grid operator TETAS has guaranteed investors in the project around $123 per MWh for 70% of the output of the first two reactors and 30% of the second two, with the remainder being sold on the open market. Rosatom is to pay 20% of its total profit back to the Turkish state after the first 15 years. Rosatom will provide the fuel for the lifetime of the plant, and manage its disposal.

A French-Japanese consortium between Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plans to build Turkey's second nuclear power plant, in the northern Black Sea city of Sinop.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Turkish-consortium-to-buy-into-Akkuyu-project