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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Turkish nuclear tender may not be canceled - Energy Min

http://www.idividi.com.mk/English/World/560848/index.html

Ankara, November 10 (MIA) - A Turkish court has stalled the government's plans to generate nuclear energy by voiding parts of the tender to build its first plant, won by a Russian-led consortium, the TMMOB industrial body said on Tuesday.

Russia's Inter RAO, Atomstroiexport and Turkey's Park Teknik won the tender last year to construct and operate the nuclear plant, but the consortium has been in protracted negotiations with the government over electricity pricing.

"The Council of State has decided to suspend three articles in the tender process," said Mehmet Soganci, chairman of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects, or TMMOB, which brought the case against the tender.

The tender process, in which the Russian consortium was the only bidder, had been criticised for lack of transparency, media reports say.

"The Council of State has found the nuclear power plant invalid," Soganci said.

It was not clear what the next step in the tender process would be or if there would be an appeal by the government or the consortium.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said it was "too early to say" whether plans to build the country's first nuclear power have been cancelled after a court annulled parts of a government tender.

The site for the plant is near the town of Akkuyu in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey aims to build at least two more plants, with potential sites near the city of Sinop on the Black Sea, as it seeks to cover a looming electricity shortage and cut dependence on foreign energy imports.

The government wants nuclear energy to meet 20 percent of Turkey's power needs in 20 years.

Turkey and Russia have greatly strengthened their cooperation in energy, and Russia has promised Turkey its participation in several projects, while Russia plans to build a multibillion-dollar pipeline off Turkey's Black Sea coast.

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