He told the state channel that this would allow Rosatom to proceed with first concrete, making the Akkuyu project “the world’s largest nuclear construction site”, where four units are being built simultaneously.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has not affected the company’s schedules for Akkuyu, the first commercial nuclear project in Turkey.
Last week, a virtual ceremony marked the start of construction Akkuyu-3. Construction of the station’s first two units, Akkuyu-1 and -2, began in April 2018 and in April 2020.
Mr Likhachev said Akkuyu-1 is entering a crucial stage of construction in 2021, with major components like the reactor pressure vessel, main pipelines, pumps and steam generators scheduled for installation.
In December 2020, the core catcher was installed for Unit 2, paving the way for work to begin on the inner containment.
The Akkuyu nuclear station will have four Generation III+ VVER-1200 units with the first expected to come online in 2023 and a further unit starting every year afterwards.
The $20bn project is being built near Mersin on the country’s southern Mediterranean coast under a contract signed with Russia in 2010.
According to Mr Likhachev, about 400 Turkish companies had been hired for the Akkuyu project for a total contract value in excess of $2bn.