Thursday, August 18, 2011

Turkey seeks partner as Japan nuke talks linger

According to Finnish official, TVO, which runs a nuclear power plant in Finland’s Olkiluoto Island, is a possible candidate to operate a to-be-built nuclear plant in Turkey. AFP photo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News, Gökhan Kurtaran, 

Turkey will consider talks with countries other than Japan for a nuclear power plant to be built in Sinop, a ministry official says. A Finnish expert confirms nuclear operators from Finland might also be intersted.

Turkey has lost time with its negotiations with Japan on the plans to build a nuclear power plant in Sinop, and it has decided to negotiate with other countries as well, an Energy Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News. Finnish nuclear operators are also among the possible candidates.
“We have lost time while negotiating with Japan,” the ministry’s press undersecretary, Ali Eskigün, told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview on Wednesday. The ministry decided Tuesday to start negotiations with other countries for the nuclear plants planned to be built in the country, he added. “Japan agrees to construct the nuclear power plant, but they want another company to be its operator.”
Meanwhile, the country is also considering Finnish companies for a partnership to conclude an agreement for operating a nuclear power station planned to be built in the Black Sea province of Sinop, as Japan’s TEPCO withdrew from the plant bidding on Aug.4.
A Finnish official mentions names of two companies as possible candidates to operate the plant.
“Teollisuuden Voima Oyj [TVO] and Fortum Oyj might be among the possible candidates,” Risto Isaksson, head of the Public Communication at Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, or STUK, told the Daily News in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız told Reuters on Monday, “If we could not reach an agreement with Japan, then we might consider China and Finland.” After Japan, Canada and France, for the first time Finland has been ranked among possible candidates to operate the plant to be built in Sinop.
Turkey is interested in “offers from Finnish companies” as well as other possible candidates from other countries, said Eskigün. “The important thing is for Finnish companies to be interested in [Turkey’s nuclear energy plans], rather than Turkey be interested in them.”
No comment
“I’m sure you understand that as a stock exchange listed company, Fortum does not comment on the question,” Helena Aatinen, Fortum’s vice president for Corporate Relations & International Affairs, said in an e-mail response to the Daily News on Wednesday.
Fortum Oyj operates in 14 countries including Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. In Finland, it has two nuclear power plants at Lovissa.
“I do not think any of the [Finnish] companies would be the right candidate for such a major task,” Haluk Direskeneli, an Ankara-based energy analyst, told the Daily News in a phone interview on Tuesday.
However, a Finnish energy expert disagreed. “There is no doubt that Finland has the know-how and experience in operating nuclear power plants.” Juha Naukkarinen, a energy expert at Energiateollisuus, told the Daily News in a phone interview on Wednesday. “There has not been any minor accident or leakage in our plants.”
TVO Oyj, the other possible candidate for Turkey’s nuclear energy plans in Sinop, currently runs two nuclear power plant units at Olkiluoto plants in the Finnish province of Eurajoki, producing more than 16 percent of all the electricity consumed in the country.


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