Turkey aims to become more than an energy bridge

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 26.05.2017 22:13
Updated 27.05.2017 10:03
Energy Minister Berat Albayrak delivered a speech at the 10th Sectoral Meeting of Association of Electricty Distribution Services of Turkey and elaborated on Turkey's energy policy.
Energy Minister Berat Albayrak delivered a speech at the 10th Sectoral Meeting of Association of Electricty Distribution Services of Turkey and elaborated on Turkey's energy policy.

As Turkey develops an ambitious energy strategy to boost the country's position in the global energy sector with efforts led by Minister Berat Albayrak, the country is now trying to go beyond the title of an energy bridge and make mostly environment-friendly investments, as well

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak has set a new goal for Turkey's energy policy and declared that the country aims to become more than an energy bridge.

In his address at the 10th Sectorial Meeting of the Association of Electricity Distribution Services of Turkey where he explained customer satisfaction for electricity distribution services and laid out new goals for the sector, Minister Albayrak underscored that Turkey has taken steps in nuclear energy and that the ministry is working "very hard" to accomplish nuclear energy projects as soon as possible. Drawing attention to Turkey's initiatives to raise natural gas storage capacity, "Our goal is to institute a storage capacity above 10 billion cubic meters (cbm) by 2023," he said. This figure signifies a storage capacity corresponding to 20 percent of Turkey's annual consumption rate, he underlined and added, "Turkey wants to go beyond its capacity as an energy bridge."

TL 5 billion investment targeted for 2017

The ministry is setting new targets for electricity distribution companies within the scope of the new customer satisfaction-oriented period. Noting that they aim to increase the satisfaction rate to 80 percent, Albayrak said: "We're getting better, and we will keep doing so. With new targets, we will set the bar even higher." Albayrak said that investment in the electricity sector for 2017 is TL 5 billion ($1.3 billion).

Albayrak said that TL 3.6 billion was the basis of investment in 2016, but the total investment in services reached TL 3.7 billion. He said that the amount of investment was TL 4 billion for 2017, but the ministry aims to increase this figure to TL 5 billion. Pointing out that call center investments are one of the most important steps, Albayrak said that 3,200 jobs were created with nine new call centers opening last year.

Investment with most environment-friendly criteria

The minister also elaborated on infrastructure plans for institution plants to process local coal in accordance with new generation and environment-friendly high-tech plants.

"We will carry out these investments with the most advanced and highest environmental criteria. If we are to do business in Turkey, we have to it in the most environment-friendly and most correct way," the minister emphasized.

Survey conductedin 44 provinces

Albayrak noted that they first announced the consumer satisfaction survey in the electricity distribution sector based on the March 2015-March 2016 period at the sector meeting in Trabzon last year and that they launched a new customer satisfaction-oriented period, adding that they also announced the results of the survey for March 2016-March 2017 period during this year's meeting. Pointing out that they conducted a survey of 22,606 people in 44 provinces, Albayrak said they've reached a better point compared to the previous year. "Is it enough? I think not. It's been a year, and there's good progress. By systematizing this, we will launch a process that takes the desired level of consumer satisfaction to the maximum," he said.

Firms' grade ıncrease up to 3.45 points

Albayrak said that points given by citizens to distribution companies in terms of service increased by 20 percent. "The grade, which was 2.86 out of 5 points last year, rose to 3.45 this year. Considering the satisfaction level due to services, that is an increase of 53 percent compared to last year," Albayrak said. "Considering all our citizens in total, we reach a level of 60 percent comparing the two years, which is a positive performance. But that is not enough. Our one-year performance sets a really positive agenda."

80 percent targeted in customer satisfaction

Albayrak shared objectives for the new period at the end of his speech, saying that customer satisfaction must rise to 80 percent next year. Currently, the ratio of foreknowing power outages is at 70 percent, aiming to reach 80 percent in eliminating outages within the prescribed time.

The minister said that although positive steps have been taken regarding call centers, all 21 regions will achieve the standard of perfection that they have determined, adding, "Turkey has to achieve the same service quality and customer satisfaction for 80 million population in the entirety of 780,000 square kilometer- territory. As in all areas, we aim for the best in this area as well for a big and strong Turkey."Albayrak added that they have targeted reaching 70 percent in quick response to questions, extending thanks to everyone who contributed to improvements by comparison to last year. "We are changing for the better, and we will. We will set the bar higher with new targets," he said.

50,000 megawatts of growth in 10 years

Albayrak noted that over $75 billion has been invested in energy and installed capacity in energy, reaching 80,000 megawatts in the past decade. Underlining that they will continue to expand the sector with investments in at least 50,000 megawatts over the next 10 years, Albayrak said that they aim to first add 5,000 megawatts and then 10,000 megawatts of capacity in both solar and wind energy in the same period.

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