Turkey one of the world’s top burners of coal

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - ERDINC ERGENC

Turkey plans to add 38,00MW of new coal capacity to its electricit­y generation in the coming years, ranking it fourth in the world for planned energy production from coal, according to the “Global Coal Exit List” prepared by the Germany-based Urgewald and 28 other NGOs.

Turkey’s pipeline of new coal projects shrank from more than 70 planned coal plants in 2015 to around 50 projects in July 2018, the report noted, citing financial difficulti­es, policy changes and protest campaigns by non-government­al organizati­ons.

Turkey is expected to double its coal-fired electricit­y production by 2023, however CoalSwarm’s “Global Coal Plant Tracker,” which maps all existing and proposed coal-fired power stations worldwide, says it could exceed that if all the planned projects are realized.

Coal is one of the two largest source of electricit­y generation in Turkey, with around 35 percent share, according to Mehmet Kara, the energy editor of daily Dunya. Most of the coal used in electricit­y generation is imported, he adds.

In a list of 120 companies worldwide with the largest coal projects in the pipeline, five are Turkish, including the state-owned Electricit­y Generation Company (EUAS) which ranks 7th in the world and number one in Turkey with 15,370MW capacity.

The company has an installed capacity of 3,159MW and plays an important role in Turkey’s plans. EUAS also owns the country’s largest lignite reserve, the Afsin-Elbistan Basin with 4.8 billion tonnes of coal, constituti­ng approximat­ely 33 percent of the country’s total lignite resources.

Pr vat zat on on the way

The state-owned company is preparing both current plants and its mines for privatizat­ion. It handles the legal and regulative processes, including environmen­tal cer- tification­s, providing investors ready-to-construct projects.

Investors who are willing to use domestic lignite will also benefit from generous state subsidies, including capacity payments and fixed-priced purchase guarantees in USD. The report, however, noted the failures of privatizat­ion so far in Turkey, citing the Cayirhan Thermal Plant privatizat­ion in early 2017 as an example where turning over electricit­y to the private sector has produced no tangible improvemen­ts to efficiency or pricing.

The largest of the proposed coal plants that EUAŞ plans to auction off is the 5,000MW Konya Karapinar project, which would be built in an extremely water-stressed area. Another is the 1,320MW plant in Amasra, a scenic tourism town on the Black Sea coast that Hattat Holding is building. Anadolu Group and Yildirim Holding are other major investors in thermal plants in Turkey.

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