Rosatom inks deal with Russian builder at Turkey’s nuclear plant

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Akkuyu Nukleer AS, the nuclear power company controlled by Russia’s state-run Rosatom Corp., annulled its contract with a Turkish builder and instead chose a Russian contractor for the remaining work on Turkey’s $20 billion atomic plant.

An engineering, supply and construction contract with Ankara-based IC Ictas was canceled and a deal was signed with TSM Enerji Insaat, Akkuyu Nukleer said in a statement on Saturday.

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It didn’t cite a reason for the cancellation, though it said contractors taking part in the project should have the “competence” to operate at an “intense tempo.”

In a statement on Friday, IC Ictas accused Rosatom of attempting to “reduce Turkish corporate presence” on the project.

In Saturday’s statement, Akkuyu Nukleer CEO Anastasia Zoteeva said the number of Turkish companies and workers will continue to rise.

Mersin-based TSM Enerji, which will replace IC Ictas, is owned by three Russian companies, according to the Turkish trade registry.

Turkey decided to build the 4,800-megawatt nuclear plant in Akkuyu, near the Mediterranean port city of Mersin, to cut reliance on imported energy. It signed a deal with Russia in 2010 on building the plant.

It was unclear whether the change of contractor would result in a delay to the schedule for the plant. Turkey hopes to see the first of four Akkuyu reactors operational in 2023.

Rosatom last week sent around $5 billion to Akkuyu Nukleer, with two other similar dollar transfers planned in a matter of weeks, Bloomberg News reported on July 29, citing senior Turkish officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

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