Parliament approves Akkuyu nuclear power plant deal

July 16, 2010, Friday/ 17:05:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
Parliament on Thursday approved a bill on an agreement between Russia and Turkey for the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in the coastal town of Akkuyu, in Mersin province.

According to the agreement, which was signed during Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Turkey in May, the two countries will cooperate in the construction and operation of the power plant. A consortium led by state-controlled Russian builder AtomStroyExport will construct the plant in Akkuyu, paying all the costs of construction for the nuclear plant, which is estimated to cost around $20 billion. The firm will be able to transfer up to 49 percent of its shares to another firm.

The Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) and Energy and Natural Resources Ministry will be the representatives of the two sides in the agreement. A Russian consortium will initiate work for the establishment of a company to carry out the construction project within three months. The plant will have the total capacity of 4,800 megawatts (MW) in four units. The company that will be established to carry out the project will be the owner of the power plant as well as all of the electricity produced. Russian companies will not have less than a 51 percent share in this new company. Turkey will start receiving 20 percent of the company’s net profit 15 years after each unit begins operating. The first unit is expected to be built and start operations within seven years of construction. The Turkish Electricity Trading and Contracting Company (TETAŞ) will sign an agreement with the company to be established, giving a guarantee of purchasing the electricity it produced at a price 12.35 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

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