ANKARA (Sputnik) – Russia is among Turkey’s best partners in the field of energy, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Ali Riza Alaboyun said Wednesday.
"Russia is one of Turkey’s best partners. For instance, Russia is a good supplier of natural gas for us. We hope Turkish and Russian firms cooperate in energy and all other sectors," the Zaman daily quoted Alaboyun as saying.
The minister stressed the reliability of Russia’s project to construct the Akkuyu nuclear plant – Turkey’s first – and said it will serve as a model for the entire country and foster a positive attitude toward nuclear energy use.
Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to construct and operate Akkuyu in southern Tukrey’s Mersin Province in May 2010. Ankara commissioned Russian nuclear energy company Rosatom to build, own and operate the plant in 2013. The Turkish Ecology Ministry gave the project a green light last December.
The approximately $20-billion project includes four Water-Water Energetic Reactor (VVER) blocks each with the output of 1,200 megawatts.
With the Akkuyu cornerstone laid in April this year, construction of the plant itself is scheduled to begin in late 2016. Documents obtained in September said the project was planned to be commissioned in 2022.