We will Generate Electricity Burning Coal'
By Ismail Altunsoy, Istanbul
The rapid industrial expansion and population increase have led to increased demand for electricity in Turkey to six to eight percent a year.
The rise in demand is has made private investment in electric power generation attractive.
Enka, Power company that generates 17 percent of the electricity in Turkey, is building a new $1 billion power plant.
The company that currently runs three natural-gas-based power plants in three cities –Gebze, Izmir, and Adapazari— and generates 31.4 billion kWh a year, will operate the new facility burning coal instead of natural gas.
Ozkan Agis, Enka's Energy Coordinator, said that high cost of natural gas has forced the company to resort to coal instead of natural gas to generate electricity.
"Six months ago there was the idea of increasing the capacity of natural-gas burning power plants in Izmir. Though preliminary work was completed, the project was abandoned owing to rapid increases in natural gas prices."
The location of the new 700 mW facility is still undecided, Agis said, but said that the company officials are interested in building it somewhere along the Black Sea or the Marmara Coast.
Coal for the new facility will be imported from either Russia or South Africa, Agis said. "Enka prefers to construct the coal-burning power plant, mostly because it is envrionment-friendly. It will allow Enka to abide by emissions limits set by the European Union. The other reason is stability in prices of imported coal.
The coal-burning power facility will generate electricity at a unit cost of 6.5 to 7 cent. The electricity will then be sold at eight cents per unit.