Turkey is one the leading countries in energy investment, especially in renewable energy, the country’s president said on Wednesday.

“In terms of renewable energy installed capacity, Turkey ranks 13th in the world and 6th in Europe,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s group meeting in the Turkish parliament.

“We are implementing projects that will turn our country into an energy base,” Erdogan said.

Within this context, the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Turk Stream projects became operational, he added.

Underlining that one of the important investments in the energy field is the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the southern province of Mersin, he said the arrival of nuclear power plants to the country has been constantly opposed by some groups.

“Today we will hold the groundbreaking ceremony of the third reactor [of the Akkuyu NPP] with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” he said, adding that the groundbreaking ceremony of the fourth reactor will be realized within few months.

“I hope the groundbreaking ceremony of the third unit of our power plant, where we plan to put the first unit into service in 2023, will be beneficial,” he added.

He stressed that the Akkuyu NPP will meet 10% of the country’s energy needs.

“The main strategic dimension of this project is that it will diversify the resources to meet Turkey’s energy need. In addition, it is very important to be among the countries with nuclear technology in the world,” he added.

The start of operations for the plant’s first unit is planned for 2023 when the country will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the republic. All the remaining three units are due to start operations by the end of 2026, at a rate of one per year.

An intergovernmental agreement for the Akkuyu NPP, which is currently under construction, was signed between Turkey and Russia in May 2010.

On Turkey’s hydrocarbon drilling activities, Erdogan said Kanuni, one of the three state-owned drill ships, is gearing up for the task ahead at the Filyos Port on the Black Sea coast.

He hoped that Kanuni will start drilling the well in the field in April.

Turkey made the biggest offshore gas discovery in the world in 2020 with 405 bcm of natural gas in the Black Sea in 2020.

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