* Fast-growing Turkey plans several nuclear plants
* Investment in Black Sea plant seen at $20-25 billion
* Russia’s Rosatom to build first plant on Mediterranean (Adds quotes, details, background)
By Orhan Coskun and Evrim Ergin
ANKARA/ISTANBUL, March 5 (Reuters) - Japan’s Itochu Corp , Mitsubishi Corp and France’s GDF Suez have made a joint bid to build Turkey’s second nuclear power plant with total investment seen at $20-25 billion, government and company officials said.
Turkey, which is likely to overtake Britain as Europe’s third-biggest electricity consumer within a decade, plans to build several nuclear plants over the next 10 years to reduce its dependence on imported oil and gas.
Officials from Japan and Turkey held talks in Ankara last week on an intergovernmental agreement regarding the second nuclear plant, to be built at Sinop on the Black Sea, officials from the Turkish energy ministry and GDF Suez told Reuters.
Turkey has also been in talks with companies from Canada, South Korea and China regarding the planned Sinop plant and Turkish officials said bids from China and the Japanese-French consortium currently looked the strongest.
“Talks on the bid made by the consortium have begun. Bids are being assessed,” an energy ministry official said.
Installed capacity of the plant is planned to be 5,000 megawatts, a GDF Suez official said.
“If agreement is not reached with the energy ministry regarding the plant at Sinop, the same consortium will bid for Turkey’s third planed nuclear plant,” the official said.
Russia’s Rosatom, which will build Turkey’s first nuclear power station, will start its construction in mid-2015 and expects the facility to start producing electricity in 2019, its deputy general manager told Reuters last month.
The $20 billion plant being built by Rosatom at Mersin Akkuyu on the Mediterranean coast will have four power units with installed capacity of 4,800 MW.
France, in the forefront of the nuclear energy sector in Europe, has previously expressed its interest in being involved in Turkish nuclear projects and the country’s foreign trade minister held meetings in Istanbul in January.
Ankara previously rejected requests by two French firms to be involved in Turkish nuclear power projects amid Turkish anger at a French bill making it illegal to deny that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago was genocide.
France’s Constitutional Court struck down that bill in February 2012. (Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall. Editing by Jane Merriman)