Turkey starts construction of 2nd Akkuyu block

Turkey starts construction of 2nd Akkuyu block

The construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant continues as planned, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said.

The project is being implemented as planned, he said in an interview with Bloomberg. "The construction of the first block's base has been largely completed," the head of the department said.

Turkish authorities issued the main license for the construction of the second power block. "Recently, our regulator issued a building license for the second block," TASS cited Donmez as saying.

"Last year, a limited permit was issued for the second block," the minister explained. 

In addition, Donmez recalled that in July he visited the NPP construction site with the Director General of Rosatom Alexei Likhachev. "We hope that the first block will be operational by 2023," the minister said.

Russia and Turkey agreed upon joint construction of the NPP in 2010. The capacity of each NPP power unit will amount to 1200 MW. On April 3, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched the construction of the first power unit for the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant through a teleconference.

A leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, a lecturer at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Igor Yushkov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the Akkuyu project is very important for Rosatom. "This is a new type of nuclear power plant which was tested at Novovoronezh NPP-2, a similar one is being built in Belarus. The more successfully implemented nuclear power plants of this type Rosatom will have, the easier it will be for them to sell these projects to other countries," he explained.

The expert emphasized that the issuance of the main license was a planned event. "Even before obtaining the main license, Rosatom started to prepare a site for the second block, the documents were drawn up by the Turkish regulator just when it was formally necessary. At the moment, there has not been no delay in the implementation of the project," the lecturer at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation noted.

According to him, the second block will be built faster than the first. "As a rule, construction takes 2-3 years. There were certain problems during the preparation of the site for the first Akkuyu block: when such objects are being built, at first the concrete composition is tested for humidity and soil. These tests caused some delay. There will be no such trials at the second block, so it will be built faster than the first," Igor Yushkov said.

Deputy director of energy policy of the Institute of Energy and Finances, Alexey Belogoriev, also stressed the Akkuyu project's importance for Rosatom. "This is one of the largest foreign projects of the company. Given that the market for new nuclear units is narrowing, it’s becoming more and more difficult for Rosatom to receive new contracts. Therefore, any such project supports all Russian enterprises that participate in the production cycle, collect equipment and provide nuclear power plant operating services," he recalled.

"The construction of Akkuyu NPP is an image project for Rosatom. In fact, it is one of the three key construction projects of the company in Europe and the Mediterranean, in addition to Hungary and Belarus. Rosatom doesn't have other such large-scale projects in the region," Alexey Belogoryev concluded.

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