UPDATE 3-Turkey denies any decision on second nuclear plant

Thu Apr 4, 2013 10:00am EDT

* Japanese paper says Mitsubishi-Areva chosen for plant

* Areva stock rises as much as 8 pct

* Turkish energy minister says talks ongoing

* Investment in Black Sea plant seen at $22 billion-report (Adds Turkish minister denial, changes dateline)

By Orhan Coskun

ANKARA, April 4 (Reuters) - Turkey's energy minister said on Thursday talks were continuing with Japan and China on the construction of a second nuclear power station, and denied a media report saying a decision had been made on who would build the plant.

The Nikkei business daily said Japan-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and Areva SA, the world's biggest builder of nuclear reactors, had won an order to build the plant, a project expected to cost around $22 billion.

Areva shares rose as much as 8 percent in Paris after the report, which cited Japanese and Turkish sources. Spokesmen for Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy had no immediate comment.

"When the competition is over we will take the decision over which country is going to build the plant. We haven't made a decision for the nuclear power plant yet," Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters.

The Nikkei report said Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry had informed Japanese government and corporate officials of the decision to award the deal to build four pressurized water nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of about 4.5 gigawatts at Sinop on the Black Sea.

The paper added the Turkish government had approached Japan about a summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in early May, after which it is likely to officially grant preferred negotiating rights to the Mitsubishi-Areva consortium.

Turkey, which is likely to overtake Britain as Europe's third-biggest electricity consumer within ten years, plans to build several nuclear plants over the next decade to reduce its dependence on imported oil and gas.

Prime Minister Erdogan has been an advocate of the country's ambitious nuclear programme, which aims to provide 10 percent of the country's total electricity needs by 2030.

Construction is set to start in 2017, with the first reactor slated to come online by 2023, and France's GDF Suez SA would operate the plant, the paper added.

NO CONFIRMATION

Turkish energy sources said the Japanese consortium included Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Itochu Corp and GDF Suez and that the consortium had proposed to install Areva's Atmea reactors in the power plants.

But they did not confirm that the Japanese consortium had won the contract.

A spokesman for GDF Suez confirmed the company might cooperate with Mitsubishi Heavy and Areva to bid for the contract.

"We are considering the possibility of working with the Japanese team to propose a reactor of the Atmea type," a GDF Suez spokesman said.

The Atmea1 reactor is a 1,100 megawatt pressurized water reactor developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva in their Atmea joint venture.

To date, it has not been sold or built anywhere, but Areva hopes to sell it in Turkey, Jordan, Vietnam and Argentina.

Areva has four reactors of its main model - the 1,600 megawatt EPR reactor - under construction: two in China, one in Finland and one in France. The latter two are years behind schedule and billions over budget.

Turkey had also been in talks with companies from Canada, South Korea and China over the planned Sinop plant.

Russia's Rosatom will build Turkey's first nuclear power station and start construction in mid-2015. It expects the facility to start producing electricity in 2019, its deputy general manager told Reuters in February.

That $20 billion plant at Mersin Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast will also have four power units with installed capacity of 4.8 GW. (Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori in Tokyo and Geert De Clercq in Paris; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer and Mark Potter)

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