Turkey considers new partner for Sinop nuclear plant

Turkey is reassessing its major partner for the country's second nuclear plant in the northern province of Sinop, the country’s energy minister said on Sunday.

The results of feasibility studies conducted by the country’s major partner for the Sinop plant, Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., did not meet the ministry's expectations regarding the schedule for completion of the project and its construction budget, Fatih Dönmez told state-run Anadolu news agency.

"Construction of the nuclear plant in Sinop with another partner is on the table," the minister said. 

In 2013, Turkey signed a contract with Atmea, a Japanese-French consortium comprising Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva, for the construction of the Sinop plant. The contract followed the build-operate-transfer model that the Turkish government has used in many infrastructure projects with private firms.

The project hit a snag as Ankara began re-evaluating the plant citing rising safety costs and deteriorating prospects for project profitability. A financial crisis which erupted in 2018 led to a surge in financing costs.

The plant, set to be built with four reactors in Sinop province along the Black Sea, is envisioned as Turkey's second nuclear power plant, following Akkuyu, which is currently under construction in cooperation with Russia's Rosatom.