General Electric seeks to participate in Turkey's nuclear power programme

Friday, November 16, 2007

ROME (Thomson Financial) - General Electric Co expressed an interest in participating in Turkey's nascent nuclear power programme following the Turkish parliament's recent adoption of a law that authorises the construction of the first nuclear power stations.

Ricardo Cordoba, president of GE Energy in western Europe and north Africa, told Agence France-Presse that Turkey needs new power stations, and that his company would be able to provide the country with all its requirements for its new nuclear power programme. Cordoba was speaking on the sidelines of the 20th World Energy Congress in Rome. GE Energy manufactures nuclear reactors as well as turbines.

Cordoba added, however, that two factors must be taken into account -- winning over public support, as the new Turkish law is opposed by the opposition party and environmentalists; and the lack of engineering skills in the nuclear sector.

The new law authorises the Turkish energy ministry to launch and conclude the bid tenders for the construction of nuclear power stations as well as to decide on the capacity and location of the plants.

The law states that if there are no bids from the private sector, government institutions can take over the construction of the nuclear power stations.

Turkey wants to build three nuclear power stations with a total capacity of 5,000 MW which should be operational in 2012, to enable it to overcome future shortages of energy and to reduce its dependence on other countries for its energy needs.

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