Turkey: Energy Sector Updates

Last Updated: 9 September 2013
Article by Group Law

Energy Allied to Invest USD 3 billion in Turkey

According to Turkey's Minister of Economy, Zafer Caglayan, Texas-based Energy Allied International is considering to invest as much as USD 3 billion in energy and petrochemicals in Turkey. He said that the US company was close agreeing on the large scale investment to produce chemicals such as ammonia and sulfuric acid using domestic coal reserves. "This investment will take advantage of Turkey's new investment incentive system.", Caglayan said at the press event following his visit to the US, adding that Energy Allied was also planning a coal gasification facility which would reduce Turkey's energy imports considerably. The planned strategic investment will create employment for 4,000 people and reduce Turkey's imports by USD 1.5 billion a year, the Minister said. Turkey has huge reserves of coal that it is increasingly utilizing to feed the energy demands of its growing economy. In January 2013, Turkey and UAE signed a deal to jointly develop coal fields in Afsin-Elbistan in south eastern Anatolia to generate electricity, a project that amounts to USD 12 billion.

Momentum for Second Turkish Nuclear PP Gets Pace

The competition to build Turkey's second nuclear power plant (NPP) has just got hotter as a consortium made up of French and Japanese companies placed their bid for the project, which is estimated to cost up to USD 25 billion. The consortium of French GDF Suez and Japanese companies Itochu and Mitsubishi, joined other Japanese, Chinese, South Korean and Canadian companies vying to build a nuclear power plant (NPP) in Sinop on the country's Black Sea coast, as a sources from GDF Suez and Turkey's Ministry of Energy confirm initial contact in Ankara last week. Turkey is also likely to consider Areva's participation in a more favorable light because of the French government's recent decision to drop its block on a part of Ankara's negotiations to join the EU. The planned 5,000 MW nuclear power plant in Sinop will require an investment of up to USD 25 billion. Turkey does not offer any treasury guarantees for the project, requiring the contenders to shoulder all the financing. Russia is soon to start constructing Turkey's first reactor in Akkuyu, in the southern province of Mersin, as per an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2010. Looking to diversify its sources of energy and reduce dependence on imports, Turkey has been in talks with Japan, China, South Korea and Canada for the building and operation of another nuclear power plant in the Black Sea region. And, it has recently been declared that it is Japan who has been awarded the project in Sinop, the second NPP in Turkey.

Turkey's Installed Electricity Capacity Increases up to 58,000 MW

According to Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) President Hasan Köktaş, Since 2008 Turkey has raised its installed electricity capacity to 58,000 megawatts (MW) by adding a capacity of around 5,000 MW every year. He further said that said Turkey's electricity consumption had increased average 8 percent annually in the last 40years. "Installed electricity power equivalent to twice that of the Ataturk Dam that is Turkey's largest dam, has come into operation every year in the last five years," he added. Turkey's installed capacity has now reached almost 58,000 MW. Köktaş observed that half of the foreign capital that arrived in Turkey between 2008 and 2012 was invested in the energy sector, and 60 percent of credit loans was used for energy investments during this period. However, he underlined that coal, oil and natural gas would remain the country's basic energy resources, despite the search for new resources.

Saudi Firm Interested in Construction of Coal-Fired Power Station

Recently, Turkey has found 1.8 billion tons of lignite reserves in Konya's Karapınar district and according some estimation this reserves could generate 5,000 megawatts of electric power per year for the next 30 to 40 years. The newly discovered lignite field is has attracted many international firms with expected $8 billion investments.

Among others a contestant, A Saudi firm has also shown its interest to construct a coal-fired power station that is to be built in the Central Anatolian province of Konya's Karapınar district, where lignite reserves were found. Through these reserves Karapınar will be able to double the electricity generated at the Atatürk Dam in Şanlıurfa, and the government initially plans to establish a thermal energy power plant that will produce 2,400 megawatts of electricity in Karapınar. Foreign and various Local companies have ex-pressed their interest in the project.

Turkey's Mining Exploration Institute (MTA)which works under the Energy Ministry, has been conducting extensive research to locate lignite resources in Konya for the past four years. Prior to the Karapınar discovery Turkey had inked a $12 billion deal with state-controlled Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) of the United Arab Emirates to develop existing coal power plants and establish new ones in the Afşin Elbistan basin. TAQA is expected to be capable of producing up to 8,000 megawatts of electricity in Turkey by 2020.

After two failed tender attempts for the establishment of the Afşin-Elbistan plant, the government decided to proceed with a private-public partnership model, which will also be adopted for the Konya plant.

Originally published March 2013

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