Ümit ENGINSOY Hürriyet Daily News
South Korea has decided not to require Turkey to provide treasury loans, which was the main obstacle preventing the two sides from reaching a final deal on Turkey’s second nuclear deal two years ago, a South Korean official said May 25.
Treasury loans are guarantees to finance well-defined and time-limited business when a country cannot fund the very high costs of a project with its own resources. Turkey’s program to build a nuclear power plant in the northern province of Sinop would cost between $10 billion and $20 billion depending on whether the plant will have two or four reactors.
Turkey and South Korea came close to an agreement on Turkey’s northern nuclear plant in November 2010, but could not agree mainly because of the treasury loans issue. Turkey then launched rival talks with Japan, but these were delayed last year because of the Fukushima disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials at a power plant, resulting from a very strong earthquake and tsunami.
Because of the disaster, Turkey is now engaged in competing talks with Japan, South Korea, China and Canada to build the Sinop nuclear power plant.
“Kepco is much keener about the Turkish deal than it was two years ago, when we could not reach a deal at the last moment,” the South Korean official said. “Kepco has desisted from requiring the treasury loan. It also has agreed to help Turkey find a loan in the international credit markets.”