Turkey’s energy market regulator EPDK on June 15 granted a 49-year generation licence to Russia’s Rosatom for the planned Akkuyu nuclear power plant.
Rosatom was anticipating the approval of the licence that would enable it to start building the Akkuyu plant, TASS quoted Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachyov as saying on June 1.
Turkey commissioned Rosatom in 2010 to build a $20bn nuclear power plant in a project that will cover the construction of four power units with a capacity of 1,200 MW each.
The plant is expected to come online by 2023.
When it becomes fully operational, the Akkuyu plant will meet 6-7% of Turkey’s electricity demand, the EPDK said in a statement on June 15.
Turkey’s heavy reliance on imported energy is forcing it to seek to diversify its energy resources, including nuclear. Thanks to lower prices, Turkey’s energy import costs declined by 28.2% y/y to $27.2bn last year, but across January-April this year they surged nearly 38% y/y to $11.7bn.
Tensions between Ankara and Moscow that came to the fore after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter-bomber jet in November 2015 near the Syrian border prompted Russia to announce a raft of economic sanction against Turkey. The friction also placed the Akkuyu project in jeopardy.
But, as a result of a rapprochement process, Moscow has lifted many of the restrictions it imposed against Ankara, and relations between the two countries have improved considerably over the past couple of months.
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