Turkish company Cengiz Holding is seeking local partners to undertake a share in the Akkuyu NPP, which is being built by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. Cengiz Holding is a major conglomerate with interests in construction, energy, mining, and tourism.

Cengiz Holding Chairman Mehmet Cengiz said in mid-October that cooperation talks on the Akkuyu NPP between Russian and Turkish companies were in progress, noting that Russia needed local partners. However, he said that Cengiz Holding cannot undertake the local partnership on its own and is willing to cooperate with other Turkish companies that wish to be involved in the project. Cengiz Holding recently won a bid to construct the water-intake infrastructure for the Akkuyu plant. Cengiz highlighted that the company needs to be a shareholder in the NPP in order to take part in its management and the Turkish partnership is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2017.

Cengiz said the company continued its operations in Russia after the downing of the Russian fighter jet in November 2015 because it did not expect the crisis to be long-term and assumed Turkish-Russian relations would be restored and further strengthened. In April 2016, Rosatom decided to sell up to 49% of the Akkuyu NPP operating company to local companies and initiated partnership negotiations with Cengiz Holding first.

An initial agreement was signed between Turkey and Russia in 2010 for a four-unit NPP in the southern province of Mersin with an installed capacity of 4,800MWe for operation in 2023. The plant is the first of three NPPs Turkey currently plans to build to reduce its dependence on imported energy. The $20bn Akkuyu power plant is expected to produce approximately 35TWh of electricity a year when completed. Its service life is estimated at 60 years.

A second plant will be built by a French-Japanese consortium in the northern city of Sinop near the Black Sea, while former Energy and Natural Resources Minister Ali Riza Alaboyun announced in October of last year that the third NPP will be built in the Igneada district in the northwestern province of Kirklareli.