28 November 2002 – A plan to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey, which was frozen two years ago, is to be revived, according to trade and industry minister Ali Coskun speaking on Wednesday.

The project will help the country diversify energy sources and help cut green house gas emissions.

A tender to build a nuclear plant on the Mediterranean coast near Akkuyu had been many years on the books, but it faced environmental opposition focused on concerns it would be built too close to active earthquake fault lines. The project was frozen by the last government which said that Turkey needed to wait for the country’s finances to stabilise and improved technology.

Coskun told reporters after a speech to the Istanbul Chamber of Industry that the new Justice and Development Party (AKP) government planned to push ahead with plans for nuclear power generation as well as more environmentally friendly methods such as wind and hydroelectric power.

Coskun gave no further details of timing or specific plans for nuclear power generation.

Turkey is currently expanding its electricity production from natural gas in order to make use of excess imports already contracted in previous years.

Turkish electricity consumption was 126.8 billion kWh in 2001, down one per cent from 2000 as the economy contracted following the crisis. A projected recovery this year is expected to raise consumption by four per cent to 132 billion kWh.