French company GDF Suez has officially placed a joint bid with Japanese companies Itochu and Mitsubishi to construct Turkey's second nuclear power plant, which is expected to cost around $25 billion.
Japan, South Korea, China and Canada have been the short-listed contenders for the 5,000-megawatt nuclear power plant, which is slated to be built in the Black Sea province of Sinop.
France had also expressed its intention to step into the ring during French Trade Minister Nicole Bricq's visit to Turkey last January.
The talks to reach an intergovernmental agreement for the plant took place last week in Ankara, the Turkish Energy Ministry and GDF Suez representatives told Reuters.
"Japanese International Affairs Ministry and Trade Ministry officials continue on talks," a representative from the French company said.
"If Turkey's Energy Ministry can't reach an agreement over the Sinop power plant, the same consortium will make an offer for the third nuclear plant that Turkey plans to build also," the representative said.
The discussions over the consortium's offer have begun and the proposals are being evaluated, a Turkish Energy Ministry official said.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yõldõz said Feb. 20 that they were about to finalize the decision process but added that two countries recently stepped up their attempts in the competition.
Offers by the French-Japanese partnership and China appear to be the front-runners at the moment, Reuters reported ministry officials as saying.
Two French companies expressed their desire to participate in Turkey's nuclear power plant project offer process, but Turkey denied the attempts amid political disputes between two countries stemming from French parliamentary bills recognizing Armenian genocide claims from 1915.
Turkey also refused to allow French companies to join the Nabucco project in the aftermath of the bills.