Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey has earned USD 13 billion from the privatization of electricity distribution grids, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said yesterday, adding that the same amount was expected to be gained from the privatizations of electricity generation plants.
The privatization of Kangal Thermal Power Plant was concluded yesterday with a signing ceremony for the sale and operating rights transfer agreement, attended by ministers and officials in Ankara. Konya Seker, a local sugar producer but also active in the food, agriculture-breeding and energy sectors, had offered the tender with USD 985 million for the plant’s privatization.
During his speech at the ceremony, Yildiz stated that the privatization of electricity generation plants was expected to earn USD 13 billion, as much as the privatization of electricity distribution grids had done.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said they wanted to use the private sector’s dynamism in thermal power plants in Turkey. He said Konya Seker would increase the generation capacity of the Kangal Thermal Power Plant. “This is an important step in solving one of Turkey’s main structural problems,” he said.
Simsek noted that Turkey’s energy import costs had increased to USD 60 billion last year, from USD 9 billion in 2002. He said the Ministry of Energy had conducted studies on these structural problems but needed a longer period for nuclear power plants and hydroelectric power plants to come into operation. “Turkey has considerable thermal power plant capacity and we want to benefit from the dynamism of the private sector,” he said.
Simsek stressed that the private sector could operate the enterprises more efficiently compared to the state.