Zorlu Holding Energy Group will invest nearly $700 million in Turkey's energy sector in 2018, the group's Chairman Sinan Ak said, noting that they aim to focus on different sectors, especially electricity distribution and natural gas power plants, through mergers and acquisitions in the second half of next year.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Ak spoke about the group's energy investments and new projects for next year.
Stressing that Zorlu Holding Energy Group's growth has been based on renewable energy this year, Ak said they plan to allocate $20 million to $30 million on smart transformation applications and IT systems in 2018.
Indicating that these systems will be used in smart networks and electric car applications, Ak said: "As electric vehicles increase, cities will not be able to stomach so many vehicles. So, car sharing will become a common practice. Personal electric vehicles will be part of public transport. Right now, China and America use regular vehicles for public transport. If you have an electric car, you will be able to find people on the Internet who will go to the district where you work from the district where you live, and there will be applications for this."
According to Ak, the shape of electric vehicles will become insignificant in the future. So, people will buy electric cars because they are cheaper and less costly, not because they like them, which will lead the sector to a different point. It will be even more different when autonomous vehicles are introduced.
Underlining that Turkey should be involved in the new process to build an electric car, Ak said that the Zorlu Group plans to join a number of areas such as fast charging stations, the development of mobile applications in smart networks and the creation of electric vehicle platforms. He added that they will strive to bid on all coming tenders on renewable energy in the field of electricity production and that they have projects of nearly 500 megawatts in preliminary license competitions on wind power to be held by Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEİAŞ) in late December.
About investments Ak said: "We plan to invest $450 million in the Alaşehir 2 geothermal power plant and the Kızıldere 4 geothermal power plant. We have already launched the investment, but it will gain speed in 2018.
According to Ak, Zorlu will invest $18 million in solar power plants. It also has an investment budget of $100 million to $150 million for the Osmangazi Electricity Distribution region. The group's 2018 budget for investments in Turkey amounts to nearly $700 million, including funds dedicated to smart life systems. Moreover, it will invest $200 million in a 200-megawatt solar power plant in Pakistan. The group will complete geothermal power plants in Turkey and solar power plants in Pakistan by the end of 2020. The Zorlu Energy head announced that they would focus on purchasing new power plants in addition to their own investments relating to production.
Ak said that they are interested in the sales tender of natural gas power plants and, "We are aiming to focus on different sectors, especially electricity distribution and natural gas power plants, through mergers and acquisitions in the second half of next year. We are taking an interest in on-sale natural gas power plants, with three on them being on the agenda right now, as well as in electricity distribution companies."
Underlining that the industry will grow with the economy, Ak said, "If the conditions improve and new scenarios are brought up, Turkey may once again become a very fast-growing country." Indicating that economic growth of 10 percent means growth in industry, Ak added, "Then we can pave the way for more natural gas power plants and generate more electricity from these plants."