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Turkey to officially discuss nuclear plant with Japan

Posted December. 09, 2010 10:29,   


Turkey will soon hold official negotiations with Japan on the construction of a nuclear power plant in the wake of failed talks last month.

The major Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai Shimbun said Wednesday that Japan will began official talks with Turkey to build a nuclear plant there, and that Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz will visit Tokyo later this month to conclude a comprehensive contract.

Istanbul will not hold talks with other countries before then, the daily added. Having signed a contract with Vietnam to build a nuclear plant there, Japan has high hopes of winning this bid.

Korea since March this year has bid for the nuclear plant in Turkey. Seoul and Istanbul had planned to conclude an inter-governmental agreement at the G-20 summit last month, but the talks broke down due to differences over price and liability.

The Knowledge Economy Ministry of Korea said Japan made an offer for the power plant in September, when talks between Seoul and Istanbul were almost visible. Japan sent an official to Turkey in October to persuade the Islamic country to discuss the plant when Korean–Turkish intergovernmental negotiations were in full swing.

Turkey said it cannot give a definite response until discussion with Korea comes to a conclusion.

Nihon Keizai said Korea has mostly brought misfortune on itself in its failed talks with Turkey. It said Seoul proposed an excessively generous offer, including 60 years of operational guarantees, to the United Arab Emirates to win a nuclear plant contract there, which helped win more bids from other countries.

A ministry official said, “This is Japan’s strategy of abuse. It is nonsense that Korea promised an operational guarantee to the UAE.”

Since the UAE has no experience in operating nuclear plants, the two countries decided on a joint venture, he said. “The UAE will pay all of the construction costs, but for Turkey, the money will come from project financing. Japan has just started talks with Turkey and whether the talks will enter the money stage is unknown,” he added.

The Japanese daily said the breakdown of talks between Korea and Turkey could be because both sides failed to agree on the investment ratio on the company in charge of the plant operation. It said Japan could face the same problem.

In its 2008 tender, Turkey requested bidders to set up infrastructure for the nuclear plant, and Japan dropped out of the running over this.

A Knowledge Economy Ministry official said, “The Korean government offered the maximum benefits to Turkey. Turkey will compare this with the proposals of Japan and other countries and chose the country deemed most favorable.”

The 5.6-million kilowatt nuclear plant will cost an estimated 20 billion U.S. dollars and be built in Turkey’s Sinop province in the Black Sea.

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