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Russia could spend $7 bln on Turkish nuclear plants

Russia's energy minister said that a state-backed consortium could spend up to $7 billion on a project to build four nuclear reactors in Turkey, whose total cost is $18-20 billion.

Speaking on the sidelines of an energy conference, Minister Sergie Shmatko said a consortium led by state nuclear engineering firm Atomstroyexport and electricity trader Inter RAO have submitted a letter of intent to participate in the Turkish government tender.

The consortium is also to include a Turkish minority partner that Shmatko identified as Chinar Group.

“We have to provide 30%-35% of the funds from our own resources, and we will need to obtain the rest on the market,” Shmatko said.

The Turkish government does not intend to provide any of the funding, he said.

Shmatko added that the four reactors would each have a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, and that the consortium could receive about $60 billion by supplying more than 400 billion kilowatt hours of power over 15 years.

Ankara is seeking to develop a nuclear power industry in order to reduce its reliance on foreign energy imports and boost capacity to meet growing demand. It wants atomic energy to cover 20% of the nation's electricity needs by 2030.

Shmatko said Turkey wants ultimately to build at least 25 nuclear reactors.

Atomstroiexport and partners Inter Rao and Park Teknik were the only bidders in a September tender for Turkey's first license to build a nuclear power plant that could cost as much as $8 billion. (Reuters)