1 Apr 2022 16:18

Rosatom plans to finish Unit 1 at Akkuyu NPP in Turkey in 2023, able to implement project itself

MOSCOW. April 1 (Interfax) - The Rosatom state corporation is undertaking maximum efforts to finalize the construction of Unit 1 of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Turkey in the planned timeframe, that is, in 2023, and has all the resources necessary to implement the project, even if there is no third party investor, Rosatom's Communications Department told Interfax.

According to the terms of the intergovernmental agreement, the plant should be launched "in the course of seven years following receipt of all permissions and licenses for construction." Taking into account receipt of the license for Unit 1 in 2018, it should be launched prior to 2025. "However, we understand perfectly how important 2023 is for Turkey as the centennial of the proclamation of the republic. And we are applying maximum strength and resources to accomplish this important stage, the completion of the first unit, in 2023. The remaining power units are to be commissioned in stages a year apart," the department said.

Rosatom has "all necessary resources and tools to successfully implement the project even if third party investors don't join the project on terms acceptable to us," the department said. Rosatom, currently the project's only shareholder, has the right to sell a 49% stake in the project to a third party investor or investors. This has been discussed with potential shareholders in the past, for example, Turkish consortium Cengiz-Kolin-Kalyon, which declined to participate in the project, and Turkish state holding EUAS, which was interested in a 10% stake. Middle Eastern investors have also reportedly been interested.

Rosatom is providing financing "in the volume necessary for the current stage of the project's implementation," the department said. "We approach finding and choosing partners with whom we will build and operate the plant very carefully, diligently, and deliberately," it said.

Construction is currently actively underway at the sites of all four planned power units, and "the project is very close to peak construction phase," the department said. Contractual obligations are being executed in full, including the delivery of equipment, which is going according to schedule, it said. The main parts for the turbine of the first unit were delivered to the site in March, including the stator, rotor, and low-pressure cylinder.

Bloomberg reported earlier, citing two Turkish sources, that Western sanctions against Russia are complicating the construction and financing of the Akkuyu NPP in Turkey, and restrictions could cause delays in the project. Turkey and Russia are discussing potential problems, including securing equipment that needs to be ordered by Rosatom from third countries, a Turkish official involved in the NPP's construction told Bloomberg.

A second source also involved in the project told Bloomberg about problems with financing, saying that Russia, in expectation of these problems, has asked Turkey to fund the project itself and later receive compensation from Russia as part of a barter deal. There are no problems with parts and equipment supplied from Russia or third parties, the source said.

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said in mid-March that he did not expect delays in the Akkuyu NPP project. "Rosatom is the energy producer here, not just the contractor. They have investment commitments. We'll launch the first unit in 2023 and then all the others," Donmez said.