Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHE), Itochu and France’s GDF Suez have signed an agreement in May 2013 for the development of a $22bn nuclear power plant in Turkey.

Reuters cited MHE president and CEO Shunichi Miyanaga as saying on the sidelines of a trade show in Paris: "We are working very hard to start the plant in 2023, the year of the centenary."

The 4,800MW power plant, which is being supported by Turkish and Japanese governments, will use MHE and French Areva-developed Atmea1 reactors.

MHE Energy & Environment vice president Terumasa Onaka said that the Turkish Parliament is likely to soon clear the Turkish-Japanese agreement signed last year.

Following the clearance, the project’s feasibility study and licensing will be carried out for about 18 months prior to commencing construction around 2017-18.

The power plant, which is expected to deliver first power in 2023, will be 50% owned by Turkey while the remaining stake will be divided between MHE, Itochu and GDF.

However, Areva has no plans to acquire a stake in the project, Onaka said.

Onaka said the mid-sized reactor such as the Atmea, which has capacity of 1,100MW, are required by many developing countries.

MHE is planning to sell the Atmea1 reactor in Vietnam and Brazil while final decision on the Vietnamese nuclear project is expected this year or next, Onaka added.