Construction tenders are likely to be invited in October for Turkey’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu, on the southern Mediterranean coast, according to Energy Minister Recai Kutan. Plans to invite tenders in August were deferred to allow for a review of the project by the new government formed at the end of June.

A final round of talks about the project will be held on 16-17 September between the Energy Ministry, Turkish Electricity Generation & Transmission Corporation (TEAS), consultants Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and the local Gamb, and university advisers, according to contractors. Sources at TEAS say that tenders will be invited before the end of 1996.

According to present plans, about five or six bidders will have a choice of three technologies to propose – the Canadian process called CANDU, the boiling water reactor (BWR) and the pressurised water reactor (PWR). Bids will be invited for plants of 600 MW and more at a cost of about $1,000 million.

Nuclear energy is required to fill an estimated power generating deficit of about 70 million kwh a year by 2010. Plans have long been considered for a nuclear station on the Akkuyu site, which first received a construction licence back in 1975. Letters of intent awarded to three groups between 1980-1983 led to build-operate-transfer (BOT) negotiations with a Canadian-led consortium. However, these collapsed in the mid-1980s over the risk attached to construction financing. The Chernobyl disaster in the then Soviet Union subsequently also discredited the nuclear option until it was revived in 1993.