NABUCCO GAS PIPELINE, The Project of the Century, if Realized, and TURKEY’s Role in its Success as the Trans European Gas Pipeline

The Nabucco project, under discussion for almost 7 years since 2002 and with an expected completion date sometime in 2014, recently passed a milestone. Following years of studies, meetings, negotiations, an intergovernmental agreement on the natural gas pipeline was finally signed in Ankara on July 13, 2009 in the presence of 7 heads of government and many officials of the countries which are members of the consortium, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. The German utility company located in Essen, RWE AG, also signed the agreement.

 

The 3,300 km steel conduit with 2,000 km in Turkey is expected to cost around 8.0 billion Euros (11.0 billion US dollars.)

[Read more…]

ILISU DAM and HEPP, The Southeastern Anatolian Project (GAP) , Hydroelectric Power Plant Developments In Turkiye and ATATURK’s Vision

A ground breaking ceremony was held on August 5th at Ilisu, a small village along the Dicle (Tigris) river where a large dam is to be constructed soon. The Prime Minister, who only two years ago had promised the local people that he would not allow the building of this dam, was the main speaker, along with the Minister of Energy Dr. Hilmi Guler, the Director of DSI, Mr. Veysel Eroglu, and other dignitaries. However, several local representatives believe that the design must be altered in order to save the historical town of Hasankeyf (some refer to it as the city of knowledge seeker) and many  NGOs and individuals believe that this is one project that Turkey can not afford to be built for many reasons. The project, which is a part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) and, under study ever since the State Hydraulics Works (DSI) was established in 1954, will inundate 199 settlement areas, including the 12,000 year old town of Hasankeyf, forcing the relocation of close to 44,000 people. Several bridges and stretches of roads, railways, transmission lines will have to be relocated. This is outlined in the preliminary Impact Assesment Report, which calls for many more detailed studies, and yet the project was given the green light, even without firm committed financial resources, a must before mobilization (1).

[Read more…]

Izmir International Fair and IBM, August 21 – 29, 2008

Izmir hosted the 77th International Fair between August 21 and 29, which lasted nine days . The last time I visited the Enternasyonal Izmir Fuari (EIF), as it is advertised in Izmir, was back in 1975 while completing my compulsory four month military service in the Turkish Jendarme training division in Devrek.

Fairs are the events where technological innovations and new products are exhibited. Professionals from different regions of Turkey and many foreign countries come together and establish commercial relations. Fairs also host concerts and many social activities, providing entertainment to the locals and also thousands of visitors that come to the fair.

[Read more…]

Turkish-American Clean Energy Technologies Conference, Istanbul, January 29-30, 2008

The US department of Energy and the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources were the two main sponsors for the 2 day conference organized by the ATC (American Turkish Council) from WDC, TAKI of DEIK (Turkish-US Business Council) (The Foreign Economic Relations Council) and TUBITAK (Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey).  Many energy companies from Turkey and GE from the US were among the other sponsors. The delegation from the US consisted of over 45 representatives from government organisations, laboratories and universities. There were also several representatvies of the US private sector, including GE, Foster Wheeler, and others.

 

Wind, Hydroelectric, Clean Coal, Solar and Bio-Fuel were among the Clean Energy technologies that were covered. There were also presentations on the various organisations involved in the Energy Sector, both the US and Turkish, except there were participants only one or two companies from the US private sector, although some of the speakers made statements that the Turkish companies are looking for American companies to form joint ventures wýth.

[Read more…]

Nuclear Energy Arena – 18 January 2008, Istanbul

A one day conference on Nuclear Energy was held at the Lutfi Kirdar Conference Center that lasted almost 10 hours with a luncheon where the CEO of Calik Holding Ahmet Calik was the guest speaker. The conference, organized by Strategic, Technical, Economic Research center (STEAM), followed another Energy conference that was held in November 2007, only 2 months ago.

Businessmen interested in investing in the sector as well as many international and local supporters of nuclear power participated in the conference. [Read more…]

Nuclear Energy and Turkiye – An Update – February 24, 2006

It is very likely that several companies in the Unite States, the pioneer in the atomic energy, will soon start investing in nuclear power plants again, possibly followed by some European countries, Russia and others. China has already announced building 30 to 40 new nuclear power plants through 2020, India up to 30 and Japan 18 in the next 15 years (Figure 1). There has been a continued interest (since the 70s) and an ongoing debate whether Turkey should also include nuclear energy in its long term plans that envisions more than doubling its present installed capacity of 39,000MW within the next 17 years. It seems that an announcement will be made soon by the government for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, estimated to cost  over $2 billion, to be completed by 2012, and plans for bulding three to five nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 5,000 MW.

 

One of the conditions, among many others that would require amendments to the Electricty Market Law 4628, is that the electricity distribution companies, which are yet to be privatized, purchase  7 to 10 percent of the energy produced by the nuclear power plants. On the financing model, the Minister of Energy has indicated that the Private/Public Participation (PPP) model could be used, however emphasizing that the preference would be total private sector participation. Earlier reports have stated that there would be no treasury guarantees in order not to jeopardize the free market conditions which are expected to be provided by the energy sector itself.

[Read more…]

Nuclear Energy and Turkey

An Update – February 24, 2006

It is very likely that several companies in the Unite States, the pioneer in the atomic energy, will soon start investing in nuclear power plants again, possibly followed by some European countries, Russia and others. China has already announced building 30 to 40 new nuclear power plants through 2020, India up to 30 and Japan 18 in the next 15 years (Figure 1). There has been a continued interest (since the 70s) and an ongoing debate whether Turkey should also include nuclear energy in its long term plans that envisions more than doubling its present installed capacity of 39,000MW within the next 17 years. It seems that an announcement will be made soon by the government for Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, estimated to cost  over $2 billion, to be completed by 2012, and plans for bulding three to five nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 5,000 MW.

One of the conditions, among many others that would require amendments to the Electricty Market Law 4628, is that the electricity distribution companies, which are yet to be privatized, purchase  7 to 10 percent of the energy produced by the nuclear power plants. On the financing model, the Minister of Energy has indicated that the Private/Public Participation (PPP) model could be used, however emphasizing that the preference would be total private sector participation. Earlier reports have stated that there would be no treasury guarantees in order not to jeopardize the free market conditions which are expected to be provided by the energy sector itself. [Read more…]

TURKEY Reached the ‘’Take-Off’’ stage in the 1930s.

Ataturk

The great Turkish Leader ATATURK

Several newspapers reacted to the recent comment by the Turish Prime Minister who stated that Turkey had just reached the take-off stage and was ready to become an important player in the world. In reality, Turkey had reached this economic development stage back in the 1930’s, almost 40 years ago. Back then, Turkey was an underdeveloped country in a state of transition, but the Turkish economy went through a significant transition after the establishment of the Republic in 1923. This was echieved through a series of state sponsored industrialisation in 1933. The economist W.W. Rostow, in his book ‘’The Stages of Economic Growth’’ gives the approximate date of technological take-off in Turkey as 1937-1938. This was based primarily on the establishment of a substantial manufacturing sector, mainly in textiles, with a high rate of growth and a rise in the productive investment. The Iron and Steel mill  began operation in 1937, followed by the opening of cement factories.

Airplane factory established in Kayseri in 1937, closed in 1959

One of the greatest achievements of Ataturk was the establishment of ‘’Turkish Airplane Association – Turkiye Tayyare Cemiyeti’’ with the aim of openin factories to manufacture airplanes and engines. In 1925, Turkish Airplane Association in a joint venture with Junkers Company from  Germany established TOMTAS (Tayyare, Otomobil ve Motor Turk Anonim Sirketi – Airplane, Automobile and Engine Turkish AS.) The following year, the company established the ‘’Kayseri Airplane Factory’’ followed by founding of ‘’Airplane Machinist School’’ and enrolling students at German and French universities to study aviation engineering. [Read more…]