Sabah – Concentrating efforts on utilizing domestic resources to meet the soaring power demand of its growing economy, Turkey is in talks with global energy companies to develop the country’s Afsin-Elbistan coal fields in Southeastern Anatolia Region.
An agreement is expected within a month on the project which includes the development of coal mines and building several thermal power plants on the site, estimated to hold 4 billion tons of lignite, for an investment total of USD 10-12 billion.
An intergovernmental agreement between Turkey and Abu Dhabi was signed for the development of the Afsin-Elbistan coal fields in early 2013 but plans were shelved due to other spending priorities for TAQA, the Emirati company that was to undertake the project.
Turkey’s Ministry of Energy is also working to exploit another large deposit of coal located in Konya’s Karapinar district in Central Anatolia Region. Also arousing interest among foreign energy companies, the Karapinar site will cost USD 7-8 billion to develop.
The Turkish government has taken steps to bring the country’s vast coal reserves to the attention of foreign energy companies via changes to its investment incentives system, making the use of locally-sourced fossil fuels to fire thermal power plants more attractive.
With all of its domestic coal reserves tapped, Turkey plans to reach a total installed capacity of 120,000 MWs in 2023.