China rival for Turkey nuke plant


Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said Tuesday that Ankara is discussing with China plans to build a nuclear power plant in the Sinop region on the Black Sea coast, a contract both Japan and South Korea are trying to win.

Asked if China is a competitor of Japan, Yildiz said in an interview: “Yes, Sure. Everybody is bringing up their own offers on Sinop, so we are just taking them and evaluating them.”

“At the end of this month, we are visiting South Korea and these issues will be discussed in South Korea. . . . We should not waste any time anymore,” Yildiz said.

He fell short of clarifying whether preferential rights given to Japan over the negotiation are still valid. “Whenever Japan comes to us for negotiation, we are ready to start again.”

Some in the Turkish government are said to be in favor of placing an order with Japan, considering its technological expertise. But negotiations have stalled following the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Turkey originally met with South Korea about building a nuclear power station in Sinop, but talks were suspended in November 2010 when they failed to agree on a price. After the stalemate with Japan, Ankara agreed to resume negotiations with South Korea in February.