ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a ceremony in Ankara on Tuesday with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the launch of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.
The two leaders jointly welcomed the new power plant project which will be constructed in the southern province of Mersin, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported.
“The Akkuyu plant will be the 56th nuclear plant constructed in the world,” Erdogan said via a video teleconference held at the presidential complex in Ankara.
“When the first reactor of the Akkuyu plant is put into operation in 2023, Turkey will join the family of nuclear energy producers,” he added.
The Turkish President also highlighted the “important” relations with Russia in the last 15 years, referring to a deal with Moscow to purchase long-range S-400 missile defense systems as well as the Turkstream natural gas pipeline plans to transport Russian gas.
“We are not just kick-starting the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear plant, we are founding Turkey’s nuclear sector,” Putin stated at the ceremony.
The Russian leader said plans are underway “to produce the first energy unit in 2023,” adding the project will begin on the Turkish republic’s 100th anniversary.
“When all units are in operation, the nuclear plant will supply 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity demand,” Putin noted.
On Tuesday, Turkey’s TAEK atomic energy authority awarded Russian builder Rosatom a construction license to begin working on the first unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The nuclear plant which will be built on the Mediterranean coast is expected to cost approximately $20 billion. It will have a capacity of 4,800 megawatts in four units and working life of 8,000 hours per year.
Putin is on a trip to Ankara where he will sit with Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in Syria.