A subsidiary of Russia’s state-run nuclear energy company Rosatom is building Turkey’s first nuclear power plant on its Mediterranean coastline in the southern Mersin province, according to a report by Turkey’s Daily Sabah news outlet.
Earlier this month, Turkey began building the fourth and final reactor for the plant, which constitutes the largest energy project implemented by the Russia-Turkey partnership.
The first of the plant’s four reactors is set to begin operations by mid-2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. The other three reactors are expected to be operational by the end of 2026.
The two countries first signed the cooperation agreement for the project 12 years ago; construction on the plant began in 2018.
Akkuyu Nukleer, a subsidiary of Rosatom, recently terminated an agreement with Turkey’s IC Içtaş firm, with which it had begun the project, and instead signed a contract with TSM for the engineering, procurement, and construction. TSM is owned by three companies based in Russia.
It’s not clear why Rosatom terminated its contract with IC Içtaş.
Once all four reactors are operational, the plant is expected to produce 35 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year – about ten percent of Turkey’s domestic electricity requirement.
According to Daily Sabah, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously suggested the country might work with Russia to build two more nuclear plants as well.