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Turkey: GE considers atomic power license

General Electric, the US-based nuclear power equipment maker, is “very serious” about bidding for Turkey’s first atomic-power license, its Turkish manager told reporters in Istanbul Thuesday.

General Electric, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, is in talks with potential local partners on a bid to build the nuclear plant, Kürşat Özkan said, but did not name the local companies. Hacı Ömer Sabancı Holding held talks with GE on a joint bid, the Turkish company’s head of energy, Selahattin Hakman, had said in March.

The government set a Sept. 24 deadline for bids to build the 4,000-megawatt nuclear station in the town of Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast. Joining the club of nuclear nations will help the country meet electricity demand that’s rising 8% a year, the government has said. “We are very seriously interested in the issue of nuclear power in Turkey,” Bloomberg quoted Özkan as saying. “Our talks are continuing and in the event a consortium is formed, we are considering making a bid within it as a provider of technology, which is our role.”


GE, which also owns a stake in Turkish lender Garanti Bank, is targeting $1.5 billion of sales in the country this year, from $1.3 billion in 2007, Özkan said. “Our focus areas in Turkey at the moment are energy production, transport and water,” said Özkan. “There is a growing demand for wind energy and the rising cost of fuel on the transportation sector is causing a demand for new generation airplanes. Recycling wastewater not only in residential areas in cities but also in industries is also important,” Özkan explained. GE’s Turkish energy unit, Gama Enerji, will spend at least $3 billion to build hydro, wind and natural-gas fired power plants, Özkan added.

Gama Enerji, in which GE bought a 50% stake last year, has an initial target of 3,000 megawatts of generating capacity, said Özkan. Özkan also welcomed Turkey’s announcement Monday it would adopt the Kyoto Protocol. “It is important to increase awareness in environmental issues. Regulations on environment are becoming tighter and tighter. The process is moving to the right direction.” (Turkish Daily News)