Turkey and China are increasing their energy cooperation through a range of projects, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Donmez explained that in recent years Turkey and China made important energy investments, with one of the major projects being a nuclear power plant that has seen the undertaking of detailed studies and feasibility reports for almost a year with China's National Nuclear Corporation.
In November 2014, Turkey’s state-owned electricity generation company EUAS, China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation Limited (SNPTC), and U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Company announced a multi-party agreement to enter exclusive negotiations to develop and construct Turkey's third nuclear power plant.
This was followed in June 2016 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding for development of nuclear technology between Turkey and China.
In June 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would likely build its third nuclear power plant with China.
More recently, in January 2019, the Energy Ministry announced that 32 students would be sent to Russia and China in a bid to provide a professional, skilled workforce for planned nuclear power plants in Turkey.
- Smart grids necessary for efficient electricity network
Another area of collaboration is in smart grid technology, Donmez said, adding the State Grid Corporation of China and Turkey's Electrical Installations and Engineering Services, which already has a cooperation agreement, has reviewed this agreement and updated the roadmap.
"We are holding meetings with high level officials at State Grid Corporation of China," he said.
The agenda items for discussion will include additional measures to secure networks that can become vulnerable to external threats, especially at the point of software, he said.
Smart grids are necessary for increasing the operational efficiency of the electricity network while benefiting consumers who can use energy more efficiently, he said.
He argued that China and Turkey have commonalities in that both have far distances between resources and energy-intensive regions.
"They [China] have considerable experience in controlling transmission lines, managing electricity loads remotely and taking the necessary precautions [for efficient electricity distribution], we will benefit from them," Donmez underlined.
He stressed that it will take time to update the network to become smart. "Nowhere in the world is this an application made suddenly."
Reporting By Merve Ozlem Cakir
Writing By Zeynep Beyza Kilic