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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Turkey launches first nuclear power plant tender to meet energy demand

Turkey would hold a tender for the construction of its first nuclear power plant on Wednesday to reduce its dependence on foreign energy and to meet its increasing energy demand.

The Turkish government had expressed its commitment to nuclear energy despite opposition to the power plants over environmental and security concerns. Turkey’s previous three attempts for nuclear power plants had failed.

Turkey's Electricity Trade Corp (TETAS) will hold its fourth tender for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Akkuyu region of the southern province of Mersin.

Turkey is planning to meet a minimum 8 percent of its electricity generation through the nuclear power plants by 2020, and 20 percent by 2030.

The Akkuyu power plant on the Mediterranean coast has a planned capacity of 4,000 megawatts, plus or minus 25 percent. The firm that promises to sell the cheapest electricity to the state for 15 years will win the tender.

TETAS will collect bids for the tender until 2:00 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Wednesday, and start opening bids at 2:30 p.m. (1130 GMT).

At the first phase of the tender, envelopes will be opened and the companies that meet the required conditions will be reported to the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) for approval. The envelopes, including the bid prices, will be opened following TAEK's thumbs up.

Suspension Possibility

Foreign companies interested in the tender had previously demanded extra time and a suspension of the tender due to worsening global financial conditions. TETAS may suspend the tender if no company submits a bid.

On Monday Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan ruled out the possibility of any suspension. Still experts say it would not be surprising if no company bids for the tender and the process is suspended.

Companies such as Sabanci, General Electric, Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Spanish utility Iberdrola SA have expressed interest in the tender.

Firms taking tender documents also included Korean Electric Power Corp, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Japan's Itochu Corporation, France's Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Suez-Tractebel and Russian state firm Atomstroyexport.

Protests Against Tender

Turkish police Tuesday detained 34 activists during a peaceful nuclear protest against the bidding process.

The police broke up the unauthorized protest in front of Turkey's energy ministry and detained the protesters, the Anatolian Agency (AA) reported. The protesters, dressed in black, posed as dead bodies to highlight the dangers of nuclear power plants, AA added.

Turkey also plans to later build a second nuclear plant near the Black Sea port city of Sinop.

Turkey, which is a net importer of gas and oil, imports nearly 67 percent of its supply, a figure that is expected to reach 75 percent by 2020. In the next few years, the country's energy demand is set to rise by 8 percent annually.

(Source: Hürriyet, Turkey)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An interesting thing is the global financial issues really only affect financial companies. Good companies with solid capital projects have had no trouble whatsoever raising money. Actually with interest rates being lowered, they are getting even cheaper credit.

Also calls into question the wall street theory that if we dont' bail them out, the rest of the economy will be badly hurt.