GE Energy Financial acquires stake in Turkey hydro builder GAMA Enerjii

GE Energy Financial Services of the United States said December 10 it acquired a 50 percent stake in GAMA Enerjii S.A. of Turkey, a power plant development unit of Turkish constructor GAMA Holding AS.

GE Financial said the resulting joint venture would invest in energy and water projects in Turkey and the surrounding region.

GAMA Enerjii owns shares in Turkey’s 672-MW Birecik Dam, the first large privately financed hydro project built in Turkey and the first based on a build-own-transfer scheme. Birecik was completed in 2001 on Turkey’s Euphrates River, 30 kilometers from the Syrian border.

The Turkish venture also owns the 478–MW Trakya gas-fired project in Turkey and the 400-MW Tynagh gas-fired project in Ireland, of which GE Financial acquired 40 percent in 2006. It also has been awarded the DISI water conveyance project in Jordan.

GAMA Enerjii officials said they plan to invest US$3 billion by 2011 to increase the company’s generating capacity to 4,000 MW. It currently owns 1,150 MW.

GAMA Enerjii is working on 13 hydroelectric projects in Turkey totaling 365 MW, as well as nine wind projects totaling 490 MW. It has applied for licenses to build 600 MW of coal-fired and 400 MW of gas-fired plants.

The companies did not disclose financial details of the acquisition, which must be approved by regulators in Turkey and Ireland.

In May GE Financial announced plans to doubt its investment in renewable energy by 2010. (HNN 5/25/07) In November, it closed financing with Plutonic Power Corp. for construction of the 196-MW East Toba River Montrose Creek hydro project in Canada. (HNN 11/12/07)

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