Dünya – Qatar has expressed interest in investing in Turkey’s large coal reserves in the country’s south-eastern province of Kahramanmaras, according to Turkey’s Minister of Energy, Taner Yildiz.
“Energy cooperation with Qatar was the main topic of discussion during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the Gulf country on December 4”, Yildiz said in a television interview, adding that an inflow of investments from Qatar was expected.
“A deal maybe inked within three months to develop the Afsin-Elbistan coal fields” Yildiz remarked. The Afsin-Elbistan basin holds an estimated 4 billion tons of lignite, accounting for nearly half of Turkey’s total known reserves.
Another Gulf investor, Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) of the UAE, which signed an agreement to plan for developing coal mines and power plants in the same region with Turkey’s Electricity Generation Co (EUAS), has reportedly deferred its plans for a year due to other spending priorities.
Heavily dependent on imported natural gas, Turkey is taking steps towards promoting the use of domestic resources, both fossil and renewable, for power generation. The 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.