Keen interest has been stimulated among international nuclear power station contractors by an invitation to tender for a consultancy contract to prepare documents for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power station.

This is the latest stage in a long saga of nuclear power proposals in Turkey dating back to 1977. The concept was tentatively picked up again in 1993, when ambitious power plans drawn up by the Turkish Electricity Board (TEK) for the construction of 187 new plants up to 2010 included two nuclear power stations (MEED 22:1:1993).

This time, international companies believe the government of Prime Minister Tansu Ciller is serious, and is looking towards a construction start at least by 1996. The project featured strongly on the agenda of her discussions in a visit to Germany in the autumn.

Bidders for the consultancy before the closing date of 10 March are expected to include the US’ Westinghouse Electric Corporation, ABB Combustion Engineering and General Electric Company (GE), the French-German consortium Framatome- Siemens, Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL), and the UK’s Nuclear Electric. The tender brief calls for proposals for a 1,200-MW plant, which would be the first of at least two on the Akkuyu site.

The last time nuclear power figured highly among energy infrastructure construction proposals was in 1986, when one on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis from a consortium AECL foundered over the financing risk associated with BOT projects. This time, the project is being planned on a conventional turnkey construction basis, contractors say.