Turkey courts US$12 billion in foreign investment for hydro

Turkey expects to attract up to US$12 billion in foreign investment for new hydropower plants, which also will help ease summer water shortages in its big cities.

The government passed a law this year allowing foreign firms to set up joint ventures with Turkish companies to build hydroelectric plants to power the growing Turkish economy. The General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (DSi) is the main state institution responsible for the use of water resources, planning, and operation of dams and irrigation schemes.

“We expect to attract $10 billion to $12 billion of foreign investment to Turkey,� DSi Acting General Manager Haydar Kocaker said July 18. �We support efforts on this and expect foreign investment to come in a short time.”

Ankara will provide electricity purchase guarantees to foreign firms for ten years if they sell electricity at agreed prices, Kocaker said.

The official said tenders for construction of 960 new hydropower plants had been completed and construction of 100 plants had already started. (HNN 9/6/06)

“All of them are expected to be built within four years,� he said. �When they are completed, the private sector will have established 15,000 MW of total electricity production capacity in Turkey.”

Kocaker said the government plans to bring water to Ankara from the Kizilirmak River in central Turkey by the end of the year to end the capital’s water shortage. Turkish media have quoted Ankara city authorities as saying water supply cuts will start in August.

“Istanbul has sufficient water for the next 4.5 to 5 months … but the situation in Ankara is more serious. It has water for 78 days,” Kocaker said.

Water levels in Ankara’s reservoirs fell to 5.5 percent this year from 23 percent last year, he said. For the whole of Turkey, that figure had fallen to 46 percent this year from 54 percent last year.

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