ANKARA (Reuters) – Japan’s Itochu, Atomic Energy Canada Ltd, France’s Vinci and Suez have taken tender documents to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, an energy official told Reuters yesterday. The official, from state-run electricity firm TETAS, said companies from the United States, Russia and South Korea were also expected to tender. «As well as local firms, there is great interest from foreign companies,» the official, who declined to be named, said. Turkey has set a deadline of September 24 for bids. The power station will be built at Akkuyu, near Mersin on the Mediterranean coast, with a capacity of 4,000 megawatts, plus or minus 25 percent. The project is one of several ways the government plans to boost energy production to keep pace with rapidly growing demand against a background of strong economic growth. The current tender is for the first of a planned three plants. Several companies, including Sabanci Holding, Enka Insaat, Koc Holding and Zorlu, have attended a meeting on the tender at the Energy Ministry, according to the ministry. Enka Insaat said in January it had agreed with Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) to cooperate on nuclear energy projects in Turkey, while Zorlu Enerji has also said it is in talks with several companies over nuclear projects.