Turkey eyes prominent position in global energy trade, diversification of resources

Published 26.09.2017 20:10
Updated 26.09.2017 20:11
Energy Minister Berat Albayrak sat with students at the high-school which will educate students in renewable energy and which he opened yesterday.
Energy Minister Berat Albayrak sat with students at the high-school which will educate students in renewable energy and which he opened yesterday.

As Turkey works to diversify energy resource channels, including fossil fuels and renewables like solar and wind power, in order to reduce its dependency on imports, the country is ambitious to sustain a key position in the worldwide energy trade

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak drew attention to Turkey's high energy imports Tuesday and elaborated on the recent energy investments to decrease the country's import dependency. He also stressed Turkey's ambition to secure a strategically important position in the global energy trade.

Speaking at an event in Ankara, Albayrak said that Turkey's energy investments have initiated remarkable processes for the local energy industry, adding that the country is working to secure energy supply security with a good perspective of the global developments.

The seismic survey and drilling operations both in mining and natural gas are indicators of Turkey's ambition to sustain its energy supply to reduce import its dependence on energy imports.

"These energy initiatives will appoint Turkey to another position in the global energy trade," Albayrak said, reiterating the necessity to become an energy hub for the accomplishment of these projects. He also emphasized that all energy investments will ramp up economic and industrial growth, which requires an immense amount of energy.

Minister Albayrak also highlighted that Turkey will continue investing in the education in energy at high-school, undergraduate and graduate levels by training engineers who will develop innovative technologies for the industry.

He elaborated on recent energy projects, particularly in renewables. He recalled the contract for a 1,000-megawatt solar power plant won by a Turkish-South Korean consortium in March. The Kalyon-Hanwha Group consortium submitted the lowest offer of 6.99 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)for the Karapınar Renewable Energy Resource Area (YEKA), where the largest solar energy power plant in Turkey will be established.

The electricity generated from a 1,000-megawatt power plant, which will be constructed by the winner of the tender, will be evaluated over the purchase guarantee price offered for 15 years. Moreover, 100 permanent technical personnel will be employed at the Research and Development (R&D) center, which will be established within the scope of the power plant. Electricity production from the plant will start within 36 months after the equipment production plant is established.

Within the scope of the Karapınar solar power project, a plant with a production capacity of a minimum of 500 megawatts of photovoltaic modules per year will be built in Turkey and a capacity of 1,000 megawatts will be allocated to the Karapınar YEKA on the condition that research and development (R&D) activities will be carried out for the next 10 years.

The photovoltaic modules to be produced in the factory, which is to be built in the 21 months after the contract date, will be used in the field. The Karapınar YEKA-1 Solar Power Plant tender will be the first practice in the energy sector to be based on the condition of localization and YEKA-based price determination.

Moreover, a Turkish-German consortium, consisting of Siemens Gamesa-Türkerler-Kalyon, win the tender for the wind power renewable energy areas by offering $3.48 per kilowatt hours (kWh), which was $10.3 per kWh for wind power in early August.

Wind turbines will be built in five different regions of Turkey, including Kayseri-Niğde, Sivas, Edirne-Kırklareli-Tekirdağ, Ankara-Çankırı-Kırıkkale and Bilecik-Kütahya-Eskişehir. The winners will activate a total installed capacity of 1,000 MWs, provided that it installs wind power of at least 50 MWs in each of these five regions.

The winning company will also pledge to undertake R&D activities to transform Turkey into a technology production center in the field of wind turbines. It will carry out R&D activities with 50 technical staff, with 80 percent of them being Turkish engineers, for a total of five years in at least three fields of wind-and-generator design, material technology and production techniques, as well as software and innovative gear boxes, and will dedicate $5 million to these activities every year. The installation and operation of the plant and the wind power plants, along with the R&D activities, will provide jobs for approximately 3,750 people.

The winning consortium will invest over $1 billion in wind facilities. With the introduction of domestic wind power plants, a minimum of 3 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will be generated each year and the electricity requirements for approximately 1.1 million houses will be met annually. Thanks to the wind facilities to be installed, an average of 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions will be reduced.

Furthermore, with an ambition to expand the scope of hydrocarbon exploration, Turkey is set to deploy its first drilling vessel in the last quarter as negotiations are completed, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak previously announced.

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