6/13/2008

Turkey says gets 10 bids for power grid tenders

The Guardian - Turkey's Privatization Administration has received a total of 10 bids for two electricity grid tenders, it said on Tuesday, far fewer than the number of firms that pre-qualified. Turkey is selling the electricity distribution networks of Ankara and its surrounding region, and of Sakarya, in northwestern Turkey, as the first of a planned 20 grid sales. Foreign interest had been expected to be strong, as 24 companies or consortia had pre-qualified for the Ankara assets and 30 for the Sakarya grid. Among those handing in bids on Tuesday were Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holding, which bid for both grids in partnership with Austria's Verbund, and another local firm, Akenerji, which bid for both with Czech power firm CEZ. Turkey is pressing ahead with its privatization program this year, despite political uncertainty over a court case aimed at banning the ruling party and turbulence on global markets. It needs to attract foreign direct investment to finance a large current account deficit which is being further swelled by high oil prices.

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