Electricity

Turkey’s third nuclear power plant to be built on European side

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Published

September 18, 2023

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Published:

September 18, 2023

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Turkey is nearing a deal with a Chinese company for a nuclear power plant in Thrace, the part of the country located on the European continent, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar said.

Turkey aims to build small modular reactors (SMRs) with 5 GW in total by 2050, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar revealed. Following a statement that the government aims to reach 20 GW in nuclear power capacity within three decades, he now said negotiations on the third conventional nuclear power plant “have reached a very important point.”

It will be located in Eastern Thrace, also known as European Turkey, the minister asserted. Talks are underway with a Chinese company, which he didn’t name. “There are some differences, but not major ones,” in the minister’s view. He added that the deal is “quite close.”

Deal expected within few months

Officials from China have reportedly visited one of the potential locations, but it is yet to be determined. Opting for a site near the border could prompt concerns in neighboring Bulgaria and Greece.

“We need to finalize this within the next few months,” Bayraktar underscored. One nuclear power plant is under construction in Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast. The site of the second project is in the Sinop province, in the far north.

The negotiations with Rosatom for the Sinop facility are ongoing, according to Bayraktar. “We are also in contact with South Korea,” he stressed.

First reactor in Akkuyu to start operating in 2024

Akkuyu’s first reactor is expected to start production next year, Bayraktar asserted. Russia-based Rosatom, the contractor, is building four VVER-1200 units with 4.8 GW in overall capacity. All four reactors are scheduled to come online by the end of 2028, starting with the first one next year.

Bayraktar also noted that Turkey aspires to lift its solar power capacity to 42 GW through 2035 and have 18 GW of in wind parks, of which 5 GW would be offshore.

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