Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Turkish nuclear plants- Reuters

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's energy minister will meet private sector firms on Thursday for talks on construction of the country's first nuclear power plants, an energy official said yesterday.

Turkey plans to build three power plants with a total of 5,000 megawatts capacity. Construction of the plants, which the government says will avoid a future power shortage, is expected to start in January 2007.

"The minister will tell firms to decide if they want to take part in the project and that a decision on which firms to pick will be made soon," the energy official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

Energy officials have said that Turkey does not plan to tender for the nuclear plants, and will instead assign a consortium for construction.

Heavyweights of Turkey's business community, including the heads of leading Turkish conglomerates, Koc, Sabanci, Dogus Holding, Enka, Gama, Zorlu Holding, Tekfen, Alarko, Calık and Akkkk Groups are expected to attend the meeting with Energy Minister Dr.M.Hilmi Guler, the official said.

Oil and natural gas imports, along with coal and hydroelectric power, account for most of Turkey's current energy needs.

Previous efforts to build a nuclear power plant, stretching back 30 years, have failed due to cost and opposition from environmental groups.

Under energy ministry projections, Turkey aims to put its nuclear power plants into service in 2012 in the Black Sea province of Sinop.

It has begun talks with leading nuclear power producers, including the United States, Britain, China and Japan, on technology transfer and costs.


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