Turkey Announces Plans to Build Nuclear Power Plant with China Instead of Russia

Photo: Turkey Announces Plans to Build Nuclear Power Plant with China Instead of Russia. Source: Akkuyu

The agreement between Turkey and China for the construction of a new nuclear power plant is nearing completion, and as a result, Turkey will withdraw its participation from the project involving the Russian Federation. This information was reported by Al-Monitor.

Turkey’s Minister of Energy, Alparslan Bayraktar, stated to journalists that Ankara is already in negotiations with a Chinese company regarding this agreement, and its finalization may occur in a few months.

It is worth noting that as early as July, Bayraktar had mentioned that Turkey was in discussions with several countries, including Russia, regarding the construction of a second and third nuclear power plant.

“Nuclear energy is an essential part of Turkey’s energy planning. South Korean companies and Rosatom have expressed interest in construction,” stated the announcement at that time.

According to the publication, Russia’s refusal is particularly unwelcome as Russia had received only one order from Ankara for the construction of a nuclear power plant, while Turkey plans to build a third such station with different partners.

Furthermore, Bayraktar’s comments about selecting a contractor for the power plant have become relevant against the backdrop of improving relations between China and Turkey.

Previously, Russia had attempted to leverage the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, “Akkuyu,” which was of significant importance to Turkey, for traditional Russian pressure. However, construction was suspended after the deterioration of relations between the two countries in November 2015, following Turkey’s downing of a Russian Su-24 frontline bomber over Syria.

Currently, Rosatom is recalculating funds for its subsidiary companies involved in the construction of nuclear power plants in Turkey through banks that have come under sanctions.

In addition, Akkuyu Nukleer AS, controlled by Rosatom, terminated its contract with the Turkish construction company IC Ictas in favor of Russian TSM Enerji for the completion of the nuclear power plant in Turkey. Representatives of IC Ictas accused Rosatom of attempting to reduce the number of Turkish subcontractors in the project.