October 14, 2014 / 9:31 PM / 5 years ago

Japanese-French consortium sees Turkish nuclear reactor ready by 2023

PARIS, Oct 14 (Reuters) - A Turkish nuclear plant to be built by Japanese-French consortium will be ready to come online by 2023, the same year as the one hundredth anniversary of the Turkish republic, a consortium member said on Tuesday.

In May 2013, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHE), Itochu Corp. and France’s GDF Suez agreed to build Turkey’s second nuclear power plant at an estimated cost of $22 billion. The 4,800 megawatt plant in the Black Sea town of Sinop will use Atmea1 reactors developed by MHE and French Areva.

“We are working very hard to start the plant in 2023, the year of the centenary,” MHE president and CEO Shunichi Miyanaga told Reuters on the sidelines of a trade show in Paris.

He said the project is experiencing no difficulties and has the full support of the Turkish and Japanese governments.

MHE Energy & Environment VP Terumasa Onaka said that this month or next, the Turkish parliament is expected to ratify the Turkish-Japanese agreement signed by the prime ministers of the two countries last year.

The next step will be a feasibility study and licensing, which will take about 18 months, so that construction could start around 2017-18 and the first power be delivered in 2023.

Onaka said the plan is for the Turkish side to take a stake of about 50 percent in the project, while the foreign investors could split their part three ways between MHE, Itochu and GDF, adding that nothing has been decided yet. He added there was no plan for Areva to take a stake in the project.

Onaka said many developing countries have a need for a mid-sized reactor like the Atmea, which has capacity of 1100 MW, compared to the 1650 MW capacity of Areva’s flagship EPR model.

Onaka said MHE also hopes to sell the Atmea1 reactor in Vietnam and Brazil. He said a final decision on the Vietnamese nuclear project could be taken this year or next.

Similar to Turkey, Vietnam’s first nuclear plant will be built by Rosatom, the second one by a Japanese consortium. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Diane Craft)

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