7 coal­fields across coun­try opened for pri­vate in­vestors

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Business -

TURKEY opened seven large coal­fields to pri­vate in­vestors with the aim of re­duc­ing the coun­try’s cur­rent ac­count deficit, which had been neg­a­tively im­pacted by en­ergy im­ports, ac­cord­ing to En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Fatih Dön­mez, speak­ing in Ankara yes­ter­day. Turkey will launch a new model to trans­fer coal li­censes from pub­lic cor­po­ra­tions to the pri­vate sec­tor to in­crease do­mes­tic coal pro­duc­tion through new tech­nol­ogy us­ing more ef­fi­cient ex­trac­tion meth­ods, Dön­mez ex­plained at the han­dover cer­e­mony be­tween the pri­vate sec­tor and the Turk­ish Hard Coal Author­ity (TTK) and the Turk­ish Coal En­ter­prises In­sti­tu­tion (TKİ).

Turkey has a pro­duc­tion area con­sist­ing of 203 mil­lion tons of coal, which when pro­duced will gen­er­ate al­most $12 bil­lion in to­tal rev­enue, the min­is­ter said.

In 2017, Turkey im­ported 37 mil­lion tons of coal, which cost $4 bil­lion. “The pro­duc­tion in­crease will gen­er­ate $3.5 bil­lion in pub­lic rev­enue, will re­place $4.2 bil­lion of coal im­ports and will in­di­rectly con­trib­ute to the de­crease in our cur­rent deficit,” he said. With the an­tic­i­pated new in­vest­ments, Turkey will pro­duce 19 mil­lion tons of coal from do­mes­tic re­sources, Dön­mez said. Cur­rently, the Turk­ish coal in­dus­try employs 35,300 peo­ple but with new in­vest­ments, em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties will be of­fered to 15,500, in­creas­ing job fig­ures to 50,000, he said.

“We will sup­port lo­cal de­vel­op­ment with the new model we have in­tro­duced for do­mes­tic coal pro­duc­tion. A cer­tain per­cent­age of coal in­come will be re­served for so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity projects in the [min­ing] re­gions. Con­sid­er­ing the po­ten­tial of the re­gion and the to­tal pro­duc­tion amount, we will al­lo­cate a bud­get of ap­prox­i­mately $5 mil­lion to so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity projects,” Dön­mez added. In keep­ing with the coun­try’s aim to ex­ploit do­mes­tic re­sources and in a bid to re­duce en­ergy im­ports, the coun­try will uti­lize new tech­nol­ogy and new method­olo­gies in coal pro­duc­tion.

“We will re­ceive the nec­es­sary know-how in our coun­try to pro­duce in larger ar­eas. If we want sec­tor growth and if we want to re­duce for­eign de­pen­dency, we have to en­large our pro­duc­tion ar­eas with high re­serves. This is the way we can re­duce the amount of im­ported coal,” the en­ergy and nat­u­ral re­sources min­is­ter said.

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