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Turkey, China near agreement on nuclear power plant

If built, the facility will likely be Turkey's third nuclear plant, with Russia currently constructing its first.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) inspect Chinese honour guards during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 2, 2019. (Photo by WANG ZHAO / AFP) (Photo by WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images)

A Turkish energy official announced on Thursday that a deal with China for the construction of a new nuclear power plant could soon be finalized, a significant development in nuclear power for Turkey and the country’s relations with China.

Turkish Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar told reporters on Thursday that Ankara is in talks with a Chinese company on the matter and that a deal can be finalized “in a few months.” The news follows a visit by Chinese officials to the likely site of the plant near the border with Greece and Bulgaria, Bloomberg reported.

Why it matters: Nuclear power is an important part of Turkey’s energy planning. Russian energy giant Rosatom is currently building the country's first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, in the southern province of Mersin.

The project with China will likely be Turkey’s third nuclear plant. South Korean companies and Rosatom have expressed interest in building what would be the second, located on the Black Sea, said Bayraktar, according to Bloomberg.

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