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Russia transfers $20bn to Turkiye for nuclear power plant

July 31, 2022 at 10:20 am

A model of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Mersin, Turkey [Wikicommons]

Russia is transferring $20 billion to Turkiye for the building of a major nuclear power plant, as the two countries continue to expand energy cooperation and advance Turkiye’s growing energy needs.

According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, senior Turkish officials with knowledge of the matter said that the Russian state-owned company Rosatom sent around $5 billion last week to the Turkish company Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, which is building the plant in the city of Mersin in southern Turkiye.

A further $15 billion will be transferred over the coming weeks, cementing the partnership between the companies and affiliates, which began with a cooperation agreement signed in 2010. The project is also financed by Sberbank and Sovcombank, the former of which is Russia largest lender. According to Turkish officials, the financing of the project is set to cover all the plant’s procurement needs over the next two years.

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Under the long-term contract, Rosatom is providing the Akkuyu power plant’s design, construction, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning, with its first unit set to become operational by mid-2023. The other three units and reactors are then planned to begin operations one by one each year until the year 2026, when they will have a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts (MW).

According to Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez, the power plant is predicted to produce 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, which would provide around 10 per cent of Turkiye’s domestic electricity needs.

The Russian transfer of the funds and the planned Akkuyu plant comes just over a week after Egypt announced the first phase of its own El-Dabaa nuclear power plant, which is also assisted by Russia and its company Rosatom.

Ankara and Cairo’s development of nuclear power plants represents a new push for more diverse and reliable sources of energy, particularly at a time when much of the world is set to increasingly undergo severe shortages in energy supplies amid a transition to ‘greener’ forms of energy and away from fossil fuels.

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