Novak: Russia Can Build Turkey’s Nuclear Power Plant by Itself

Russia is able to complete the construction of Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear power plant even if it is unable to attract other investors, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, according to YeniSafak.

“Already, $3 billion has been invested… If they won’t find an investor, it means that the plant will be built by Akkuyu Nuclear,” Novak said, referring to a Turkish subsidiary of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday took part in a symbolic ceremony marking the start of construction of Akkuyu, Turkey’s first nuclear power plant. Rosatom has been seeking investors for a 49 percent stake in the $20 billion project.

The project is planned to be financed by Rosatom and its partners involving loans from export-import agencies and banks. Located in the southern province of Mersin, Akkuyu is expected to meet 10 percent of Turkey’s energy needs by the time all four reactors go online in 2025. The first reactor is expected to be operational in 2023 to mark the centennial of the Turkish Republic.

The joint venture already broke ground once in 2015 before being put on hold after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane along the Syrian border, causing relations between Moscow and Ankara to nosedive.

A U-turn in relations has witnessed the two countries closely cooperate on Syria and expand economic ties.

Putin and Erdogan met eight times last year and spoke often, signaling the two leaders have been able to set aside their differences at a time when both countries face deteriorating relations with the West.