The International Nuclear Power Plant Summit was held between March 6-7 in Istanbul.
For the fifth year, around 500 persons came to this burgeoning market to understand what is possible to achieve.
This year, the exhibition revealed several properties of what is to expect in Turkey:
- The large number of Turkish exhibitors: compared to the last two events, the number of domestic exhibitors increased, largely due to the arrival of new comers in the industry, from the civil engineering sector. Most of the companies interviewed told us the reasons for their participation is the discovery of the opportunities, the approach of new clients, the meetings with new clients, and to test their products in this new market.
- The Shrinking presence of foreigners: in 2015 and 2016, we saw first the French then the German coming with large delegations, then the British. It melted like snow in the sun. The French delegation was represented by a small group, and the German companies that came in 2017 did not take part of the small group of 9 companies in 2018. As for the British, only Rolls Royce was present, mostly due to its commitment with the project of the Istanbul Nuclear Cluster. The irregularities of this market for many years discouraged the companies to invest again in this event, and prefer to deal directly in Moscow, Kobe and Paris.
- Rosatom public relation: Rosatom used not to be open or giving any specific information at INPPS. These days are over. The Russian group not only brought representatives from Hungary and Finland to discuss the benefits of the nuclear ( with Rosatom…) in their countries, but also displayed the list of tenders for the next two years, product by product. The company is opening its business style, certainly to attract domestic investors, as Rosatom does not have enough capital for the 4 units of Akkuyu.
- The optimism of Mitsubishi: the team from Kobe was open about the ongoing process with the TAEK and the Ministry of Energy, and welcomed new suppliers. We saw a team quite frank about the scope of products that will be procured or not, and that was a complete different Mitsubishi we met from last year.
- The divergence between SPIC and Westinghouse: The Chinese group sent its design and engineering subsidiary, the SNERDI, which organized the most boring event of the year. I believe the Chinese did not understand that selling to Turkey is firstly to educate the market. We had to listen to endless technical and soporific speeches about the greatness of the CAP1000 and CAP1400, and not a word about Westinghouse. In a room where you could count the attendees on two hands, one representative of IRSN was confronting SNERDI on their inconsistencies and following was a tennis table game between SNERDI and IRSN. When I asked later SNERDI why they came to this event with technical presentations that are more for experts in safety rather than engineers, the answer was simple: “ this is the first time we come here, and there is no project, so we talk about our technology”. Fair enough, but from a marketing and public relation standpoint…SPIC should review its export strategy.
Finally, this event was mostly a reunion about the market for the industry, by the industry. This year, like in 2017, the Ministry of Energy was not hosting neither spoke, the TAEK was invisible, despite the tender process of Rosatom, and the Nuclear Industry Association of Turkey (NIATR) is just a brand, to open the summit, with no more achievements, despite the kind support from Finnuclear in the Rosatom workshop.