Turkey’s first nuclear plant delayed by funding problems – energy expert

Completion of Turkey’s first nuclear power station is likely to be delayed as the Russian company building it is struggling to secure funding, former diplomat and Bosphorus Energy Club head Mehmet Öğütçü told Turkish daily Sözcü.

A small part of the plant in Akkuyu, southern Turkey, may be opened for political reasons in 2023, the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic, Öğütçü said.

But Russian state-owned Rosatom is having difficulties financing the project, which is expected to cost between $20 billion and $25 billion, he said, adding that Western companies were avoiding Akkuyu over concerns about nuclear armament.

A Turkish consortium pulled out of the project last year, citing a failure to reach commercial terms with Rosatom, which owns a 51 percent stake in the project.

A report by the main opposition Republican People’s Party this month criticised the terms of the government’s deal with Rosatom, which has been guaranteed a price of 12.35 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour in a 15-year power purchase agreement.