Russia and Turkey lay foundation for third unit of Akkuyu NPP

Russia and Turkey lay foundation for third unit of Akkuyu NPP

Turkey held a groundbreaking ceremony today for the third reactor at the country’s first nuclear power plant.

The event was virtually attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant marks another major joint energy project that the leaders said symbolizes a deep partnership between Turkey and Russia.

Turkey in November granted a construction license for the third unit of the plant that is being built in the southern Mersin province.

All the remaining three units are due to start operation by the end of 2026, at a rate of one per year to ultimately have a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts (MW). The construction of the second unit started in June last year.

Once completed, the plant is expected to produce 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually. Turkey’s total electricity consumption last year was around 305 billion kWh. Thus, the plant will meet up to 10% of the country’s current electricity consumption when it starts operating at full capacity.

Erdoğan and Putin had attended the Akkuyu NPP’s groundbreaking ceremony in April 2018 via a videoconference call from capital Ankara, Daily Sabah reported.

The two countries had signed an intergovernmental agreement in May 2010 for the plant’s construction.

The plant, which will have an estimated service life of 60 years with an extension of another 20 years, will produce carbon-free energy around the clock.

As a baseload plant, it will play a leading role in reducing dependence on imported energy resources, especially natural gas.

The total amount of investment in the plant has been calculated as $20 billion.

The giant project is expected to employ around 15,000 people during its peak construction period, and about 4,000 people during its operations.