MHI, Areva to Win $22 Bln Turkish Nuclear Deal, Nikkei Says

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan and Areva SA of France are set to win a $22 billion project to build an atomic power plant in Turkey, the Nikkei newspaper said.

The group will build four reactors with combined capacity of about 4,500 megawatts in Sinop on the Black Sea coast, the Nikkei said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The first unit is scheduled to begin operations by 2023 following the start of construction in 2017, the Nikkei said.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, speaking in an interview with CNBC-e television today from Ankara, said Turkey had not yet reached the final phase of talks. South Korea and Canada were dropped from competition, leaving China and Japan in contention, he said.

Though all but two of Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors remain shut for safety tests following the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese government has pledged to keep promoting nuclear infrastructure exports as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tries to revive the world’s third-biggest economy.

Turkey picked Russia’s Rosatom Corp. and ZAO Atomstroyexport for its first facility at a cost of $20 billion. Turkey imported more than $60 billion in energy last year and is seeking ways to improve energy efficiency, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said at a conference in Istanbul today. A single nuclear plant would reduce Turkey’s current-account deficit, the third-largest in the world last year, by about $3 billion, he said.

Shares Gain

Mitsubishi Heavy shares rose 4.6 percent to 545 yen at the close of trading, compared with a 2.7 percent gain on the Topix Index in Tokyo, where the company is located. Mitsubishi Heavy shares have advanced 31 percent since the beginning of the year. The shares of Paris-based Areva climbed 5 percent to 12.03 euros at 10:40 a.m. in Paris.

The Turkish government has asked Japan to hold a meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abe in early May, the Nikkei said. Turkey plans to officially award preferred negotiation rights to the Mitsubishi-Areva group after the two leaders agree to cooperate on the project, the Nikkei said.

Hideo Ikuno, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Mitsubishi Heavy, declined to comment on the report. Naoko Kato, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman at Areva’s Japan unit, also declined to comment.

Japan’s trade minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, told reporters on Jan. 15 that he wants to see Japan promote exports of safe nuclear infrastructure.

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