Turkish President Discusses $80Bln Nuclear Power Deal

APVladimir Putin greeting Turkey's Abdullah Gul during their meeting Friday.
President Dmitry Medvedev met with Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in Moscow on Friday to discuss energy cooperation, including talks for Russia to build and run a $20 billion nuclear plant in Turkey.

Turkey approved technical aspects of the bid and is reviewing a 15-year power supply contract, potentially worth $60 billion, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Friday. Reactor builder Atomstroiexport is a partner with power trader Inter RAO and Park Teknik, Turkey's biggest private coal producer, in the bid.

The countries are "interested in developing ties in the sphere of electricity and nuclear energy," Medvedev told reporters after a meeting Gul.

Russia outpaced Germany as Turkey's top trade partner last year as business between the countries rose eightfold since 2002 to $34 billion. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin put the figure at $32 billion while meeting with Gul, Interfax reported.

Power demand in Turkey last year grew the most worldwide after China. Half of Turkey's power plants burn gas, of which 95 percent is imported, and the country is looking to decrease its dependence on the fuel.

Turkey's government is seeking to fix a price at which it will buy electricity from the country's first nuclear plant, and Atomstroiexport has reduced its initial offer on power sales, Shmatko said. The company asked for 15 cents per kilowatt hour this month, compared with the 21.16 cents it offered initially.

The plant will take 10 to 12 years to build and will operate four 1,200-megawatt reactors, said Shmatko, a former chief executive of Atomstroiexport.

Atomstroiexport and Inter RAO are units of state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

(Bloomberg, MT)