Star – Turkey and United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed an energy deal worth USD 12 billion for the development of coal fields in Turkey’s southeast. The project covers the renovation of existing power plants in Afsin-Elbistan coal field, located in Kahramanmaras province, and the construction of new plants utilizing the same source, estimated to hold around 4.4 billion tons of lignite.
The project involves adding at least 7 GWs of power to Turkey’s total installed capacity by building new plants in the region. Afsin-Elbistan’s existing two coal-fired plants generate 2,8 GWs combined.
“Turkey aims to reach 18,000 MWs of capacity utilizing coal reserves in the next 11 years.”, according to Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz, speaking at the signing ceremony. The total amount of investments will reach USD 12 billion and will ultimately create 8,500 new jobs.
To be run by Turkey’s EUAS and UAE’s TAQA, both state-owned power companies, the project is slated to be completed in 2021.
The project will reduce Turkey’s costly energy imports by using domestic sources to generate power, in line with country’s energy policies covering the next 10 years. Turkey struck a deal with Russia in 2011 to build the country’s first nuclear power plant and is in talks with Canada, China, South Korea and Japan for the building of the second.
The country aims to have 100,000 MW of installed capacity in 2023, nearly double that of today’s 53,000 MW.