A major backer of Turkey's second nuclear power plant project, Japanese trading house Itochu, has backed out of the project due to rising costs, according to the Nikkei news service.
Costs estimates for the 4500MWe nuclear plant, to be located near the city of Sinop in northern Turkey on the Black Sea coast, have jumped from an initial price of $18 billion to $46.2 billion mostly due to safety and security measures put into place as a reaction to the Fukushima Dai-ichi triple meltdown in March 2011.
A feasibility study conducted by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Itochu and other investors, which was expected to be completed in March, has been extended for several months.
Thirty percent of the Sinop project was expected to be financed by an investment consortium, including Itochu, with the remaining 70 percent financed through various lenders, including the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The consortium itself was to be 51 percent owned by MHI, Itochu and Engie, the French utility company. The other 49 percent included the Turkish Electric Generation Cooperation and other investors.
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