By Kamila Aliyeva
The constantly growing energy demand has forced Turkey to search for ways to ensure its energy security.
The country seeks to develop nuclear power energy while decreasing negative environmental effects of energy production.
Construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in Turkey will begin at the end of this year, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said, TRT Haber reported on October 11.
The presidents of Turkey and Russia are expected to attend the ceremony of laying the foundation of the nuclear power plant.
He noted that the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
Moscow and Ankara signed an agreement to construct and operate Turkey’s first nuclear power plant at the Akkuyu site in May 2010.
Akkuyu is the world's first nuclear power plant project implemented on BOO ("build-own-operate") basis. In accordance with this model, Russia will build, own and operate the plant.
The plant will have a capacity of 4,800 megawatts in four units and a working lifetime of 8,000 hours per year. In its first phase, two units with a capacity of 2,400 megawatts are planned to be completed by 2023.
The Turkish side expects the first unit of Akkuyu NPP to start generating electricity on October 29, 2023 on the centennial anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
In June 2017, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation signed an agreement on the main conditions for the Turkish energy companies Cengiz Holding, Kolin Insaat and Kalyon Insaat to join the shareholders of the Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, which is implementing the Akkuyu nuclear power plant project.
The agreement was signed at the 9th international forum Atomexpo-2017 in Moscow.
The Turkish consortium claims 49 percent in Akkuyu Nuclear company. The amount of the transaction has not been disclosed. But it will be the biggest investment of foreign companies into Russian projects being implemented outside the country and the world's biggest private investment in nuclear energy sector over the past 17 years.
The $20 billion Akkuyu project is expected to meet 6 to 7 percent of Turkey’s electricity demand after it is completed.
On June 15, Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) granted an electricity generation license to the Akkuyu Nuclear Company for a period of 49 years for the project in the southern Turkish province of Mersin.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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