World Bank unit, Europe bank eye funding Turkey hydro

The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. (IFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are considering proposals to provide a total of US$1 billion in loans to Turkish hydropower developer EnerjiSA Enerji Uretim A.S.

EnerjiSA, a joint venture of Austrian utility Verbund and Turkey’s Sabanci Group, has indicated it plans to develop at least nine hydropower projects totaling at least 1,000 MW.

EIB issued information May 20 indicating it is considering providing up to 135 million euros (US$211.6 million) to a 700 million euro (US$1 billion) investment program by EnerjiSA to build several small and medium-sized hydropower plants with an expected capacity of more than 900 MW.

EIB said the plants are either run of river or have reservoirs smaller than 15 square kilometers. It added that all the plants but two exceed 50 MW and will require environmental impact assessments.

Similarly, IFC reported it is considering providing loans of US$825 million for a total US$2 billion program by EnergiSA for capital investments from 2008-2012. IFC said its funding would parallel financing by Turkish commercial bank Akbank and European commercial bank WestLB headquartered in Germany.

IFC said that program includes the Bandirma natural gas-fired power plant and, �according to current planning,� ten hydropower plants totaling approximately 1,900 MW. It said hydro plants include 45-MW Cambasi in the Solakli River Basin; 29-MW Kusakli, 180-MW Kavsakbendi, 78-MW Yamanli 2, 145-MW Kopru, and 85-MW Menge in the Seyhan River Basin; and 8-MW Dagdelen, 213.9-MW Kandil, 103.2-MW Sariguzel, and 142-MW Hacininoglu in the Ceyhan River Basin.

EnerjiSA this month awarded a 70 million euro (US$108.2 million) contract to VA Tech Hydro to equip Kandil, Sariguzel, and Hacininoglu. (HNN 5/15/08)

EnerjiSA already operates four hydro projects totaling 85 MW in Antalya, Mersin, and Kahramanmaras. It also operates four gas-fired power plants and has plans to build other thermal and wind plants.

Verbund received approval from the European Union in 2007 to proceed with its power production joint venture with Sabanci Group. At that time, Verbund said it would invest US$326.6 million to buy a stake in EnerjiSA from Sabanci and purchase new shares issued in a capital increase at EnerjiSA, bringing its total stake to 49.99 percent and providing EnerjiSA with US$242.2 million in fresh funds.

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