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Putin, Erdogan discuss gas supplies to Turkey

October 10, 2011, 21:02 UTC+3

The prime ministers also discussed in detail the implementation of the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant

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NOVO OGAREVO, October 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Rusian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed natural gas supplies to Turkey via the Western Corridor.

During a telephone conversation on Monday, October 10, Putin and Erdogan “exchanged views on the prospects for further gas supplies via the Western Corridor in the light of one of the Turkish companies’ refusal to extend its contract, with a focus on possible supplies through another Turkish company,” the Russian prime minister’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

“The prime ministers also discussed in detail the implementation of the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,” Peskov added.

Putin and Erdogan also dwelt upon the construction of the South Stream pipeline.

Now the bilateral agenda includes joint implementation of the South Stream designed to strengthen energy security in the whole of Europe. Russian companies have started the second stage of work on a feasibility study from May 15 for the construction of the marine section of the pipeline in Turkey's exclusive economic zone in the Black Sea in accordance with the permission issued by the Turkish side.

Russia's biggest project in Turkey -- the construction of a nearly 20 billion U.S. dollar nuclear power plant at Akkuyu - has already entered the implementation stage. Immediate plans includes obtaining necessary permits and licenses for the commencement of construction.

Turkey announced the tender for the construction of the nuclear power plant in Mersin on the Mediterranean in September 2008. Its sole participant was a Russian-Turkish consortium created by Atomstroyexport, Inter RAO UES and Park Technic.

The selection of the construction site and the cost of electricity to be generated by the power plant appeared to be controversial. The tender was cancelled on November 20, but the parties continued negotiations on joint construction of the nuclear power plant.

Over the past 40 years, Turkey has announced four tenders for the construction of nuclear power plants but all of them were cancelled.

The Russian-Turkish consortium suggests building the plant in the town of Akkuyu near the Mediterranean city of Mersin. It will consist of four units with a combined capacity of about five gigawatts. Concrete casting for the first unit was scheduled for 2011.

Earlier Russia was negotiating with Turkey a reduction in the cost of its project to build the nuclear power plant.

Turkey's first nuclear power plant will be built 200 kilometres from Antalya near the Mediterranean port of Mersin, Atomstroyexport said.

“The consortium's tender bid includes the construction of four VVER reactors with a capacity of 1,200 Mw each under the Russian AES-2006 project,” the company said.

The cost of the project was estimated at 20 billion U.S. dollars. The cost of electricity to be generated by the nuclear power plant will be 0.1533 U.S. dollars per 1 kilowatt/hour.

In May 2009, Erdogan said at a meeting with Putin that “all tender procedures would be completed shortly” and the “Russian company Atomstroyexport will participate in the construction of the nuclear power plant.”

“This company took part in the tender, won it and all others fell off,” he added.

But the tender was then cancelled and its results annulled in November 2009.

Russian companies propose to build four power units with a capacity of up to 5 gigawatts. As a result, Turkey will get its first commercial source of atomic energy.

Turkey remains one of the key trade partners of Russia. In 2010, trade turnover between the two countries increased by 40 percent to 14 billion U.S. dollars, export grew by 34 percent to 11.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Russia exports to Turkey mainly hydrocarbons (more than 70 percent of all export), metals and metal products, and mineral fertilisers, importing Turkish machinery, equipment, vehicles, consumer goods, and food.

Turkey continues to strengthen its leading positions as a major buyer of Russian natural gas. Experts say that the construction of the second stage of the Blue Stream pipeline on the Black Sea bed to Turkey and cooperation under the South Stream project become increasingly important.

The two countries also cooperate in the oil industry under the Samsun-Ceyhan project which links the northern and the southern coasts of Turkey. Moscow also considers the possibility of building not only an oil pipeline but also an oil refinery in Ceyhan and marketing its products.

Russia and Turkey also develop military-technical cooperation that dates back to the Treaty of Friendship and Brotherhood of 1921. Turkey is the first NATO country with which Russia began military-technical cooperation.

In April 1994, Russia and Turkey signed an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation on military-technical issues and in the defence industry, which calls for the development of production and supply of arms and military hardware.

Putin expressed confidence that the two countries “have all chances to build the foundation for further progress” and “create conditions for full and direct exchanges between entrepreneurs and people, free of administrative complexities”.


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