Nuclear Builder Revises Turkey Bid

ReutersGuler addressing the media on Monday about Atomstroiexport's bid to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant.
ANKARA, Turkey — Atomstroiexport, the only bidder in a tender to build Turkey's first nuclear plant, has revised its bid after initially offering to sell power at three times the current rate, Turkey's energy minister said Monday.

Energy Minister Himli Guler said state power company Tetas was preparing a report on the revised offer from Atomstroiexport, which won the nuclear power license tender with Inter RAO and Turkish partner Park Teknik.

"We've revised our offer because the economic conditions have changed," said Timur Ivanov, deputy chairman of the Russian company, without giving details. The rules of the tender process prevent the announcement of the new bid, he said.

Atomstroiexport had offered to sell power at an average price of 21.16 cents per kilowatt hour, Yasar Cakmak, head of Tetas, said earlier in the day.

The average wholesale price in Turkey is about 7.9 cents per kilowatt hour. Atomstroiexport's bid would include covering its construction costs and a forecast for power prices over the life of the station, which could cost as much as $8 billion to build.

Turkey wants to build three nuclear plants to cover about 5 percent of the country's electricity needs and cut its reliance on energy imports. Its demand has been growing at a rate second only to China's.

Environmentalists and some economists say nuclear power is too expensive and could create health hazards in a country crisscrossed by earthquake fault lines.

The government took nearly three months to approve the Atomstroiexport bid after no other companies submitted offers in the September tender.