Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey will reduce its dependence on natural gas imports from Russia, its biggest fuel provider, and cut energy costs with the construction of two nuclear plants, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said.
Three to four years of gas imports totaling as much as $7 billion annually to power electricity plants will cover the cost of the two facilities, to be built on Turkey’s Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts, Yildiz said today at a conference in Ankara, according to state-run Anatolia news agency.
“We’re reducing our dependence on foreign providers by establishing nuclear power plants with this money,” Yildiz said. He said the Russian firms that will build the Akkuyu facility in the southern province of Mersin are investing $700 million in the first phase of the $20 billion project.
Turkey is seeking to diversify its energy sources, as oil and gas imports make up about half of the country’s $90 billion trade deficit through October. A disagreement with OAO Gazprom over discounts led to the cancellation of a contract for as much as 6 billion cubic meters of annual gas purchases from Russia.
Rosatom Corp. and Atomstroyexport ZAO were picked by the Turkish government to build the country’s first nuclear power plant.
--With assistance from Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul and Steve Bryant in Ankara. Editors: Ben Holland, .
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