Turkey: $22b Russia Energy Deal 'Still Intact'

Turkey: $22b Russia Energy Deal 'Still Intact'
Turkey: $22b Russia Energy Deal 'Still Intact'

Russia will continue with its $22 billion nuclear energy investment in Turkey, and both countries will strengthen economic cooperation despite their differences in outlook regarding regional political issues, the World Bulletin quoted Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz as saying.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum's special meeting entitled "Unlocking Resources for Regional Development" at the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul; Yildiz said he will visit Moscow on Wednesday to discuss Russia's economic investments in Turkey.

He said that despite Turkey and Russia's different outlooks on the political crises in the Middle East such as with Syria, their mutual interdependency takes priority, and he stressed this point with Russia's $22 billion investment in Turkey including nuclear power plants.

The Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project is estimated to cost around $20 billion and total of $3.5 billion worth of equipment is expected to be used in the construction process, of which $1.8 billion will be spent this year alone.

Funds received from Russia are expected to be used specifically in the building of the infrastructure for the plant, in constructing roads, power lines, water pipelines, temporary housing and cranes. If the project license is approved, the reactor construction is estimated to begin in 2016, and to be operational by 2020 with the entire plant being fully operational by 2023.

The Russian energy company Rosatom signed an agreement in 2011 to build and operate a four reactor nuclear power plant in Mersin province on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, with the aim of having the plant fully-operational by the Turkish republic's 100-year anniversary in 2023.

Turkey to Be Energy Hub

Yildiz also said that despite the political instability in the Middle East, the conflicts will not prevent Turkey becoming an energy hub in the near future.

"With the international projects that Turkey participates in, the country will shine as a symbol of stability in the region and will continue to make such projects lighten the political burden," he said.

Turkey is currently involved in several pipeline projects, such as the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP) which will carry Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe by the end of 2018.