Discussions between South Korean officials and bureaucrats from the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Trade ended in a stalemate. The final hope for a breakthrough towards a solution is now left to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Seoul next month when he attends the G-20 meetings there.
Speaking at a press conference in Ankara on Monday, Energy and Trade Minister Taner Yıldız said talks with the state-owned Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) had not reached any conclusive point yet.
After a meeting behind closed doors with South Korean Information and Economy Minister Kyun Hwan Choi and a delegation accompanying him, Yıldız faced the press alone. He said they had been deliberating with the South Koreans for the last six months and that the intensity of the talks had increased over 21 gatherings held in the last three weeks to focus on solving major points of difference. However, no concrete steps have been taken so far, Yıldız noted, adding that Monday’s talks also bore no fruit.
The project, which sees the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop, is one of the largest projects in the republic’s history with an estimated cost of around $20 billion, the minister underlined. He avoided disclosing details over the points in dispute but noted that the two sides have thus far failed to reach agreement on price and Treasury guarantees.
When asked if a compromise had been reached on the ownership of shares, the minister said: “They want Turkey to have the larger share, indeed more than 51 percent. We, on the other hand, asked them to retain the larger share. There is no definitive agreement yet.”