Sunday, October 12, 2008

New Thermal Power Plant Investment in BANDIRMA

Dear Energy Professional, Dear Colleagues,

Your writer has received press releases from various resources for a new thermal power plant in Bandirma, Turkey. It is advised that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), has received order for M701F gas turbines for natural gas-fired power generation plants in Turkey. The 920 MW (megawatt) gas turbine combined-cycle (GTCC) power plant for a Turkish electricity provider for the domestic market, is slated to go on-stream in August 2010.

The Turkish GTCC power plant - the order for which MHI received on a full-turnkey basis jointly with A-TEC Power Plant Systems AG (A-TEC PPS), an Austrian engineering company specialized in GTCC power plants - will be built in Bandirma, ŞirinÇavuş village on the Marmara Sea coast. The Bandirma power plant will consist primarily of two gas turbines, a steam turbine and three generators. MHI will design and manufacture the gas and steam turbines. A-TEC PPS will furnish peripheral equipment and perform civil work and installation. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation will manufacture the generators.

A-TEC PPS is a subsidiary of A-TEC Industries AG, a Vienna-based industrial group with operations in drive systems, plant engineering, machine tools and metallurgy. MHI began collaboration with A-TEC PPS in the marketing of GTCC plants in 2006 in a quest to expand GTCC sales mainly in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. The latest Turkish GTCC order is the first fruit of the MHI/A-TEC PPS team's marketing activities. MHI established Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe, Ltd. (MPSE) in October 2007 as a base dedicated to power systems business in Europe. Collaboration with A-TEC PPS is one of MHI's proactive initiatives to enhance its locally tailored power systems marketing activities in the region.

We understand that the local company and Österreichische Elektrizitätswirtschafts-Aktiengesellschaft (Verbund) signed a €865 million financing package for the first phase of the company’s investment program. This landmark transaction, which is expected to be increased to up to € 1 bn in the course of 2008, secures the generation of 12,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, potentially supplying 3.6 million consumers. This financing package was successfully arranged by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, local bank and WestLB AG, together the Global Coordinators.

The project will construct a portfolio of ten hydroelectric power plants and one natural gas-fired thermal plant in Bandirma with total capacity of 1,900 megawatts. This is the largest international financing package for a private Turkish company which will sell into Turkey's deregulated power market. Given the current market conditions, this financing sends a strong signal of confidence in joint venture, to become a leading private power generator in Turkey’s liberalized electricity market.

Your writer is always happy to get such news on new energy investments in the local energy market, provided that

They are found / registered/ accepted as environmentally friendly,
They have completed all obligations for Environmental Impact Assessment Reports,
They have received their license from the Local Regulatory Board,
They are designed by local engineering companies,
They are fabricated in the local fabrication plants, they are installed by our local contractors, they are commissioned and supervised by our local engineering power,
They are operated by our own staff,
and regularly checked by our own labor force in programmed maintenance.

We understand that project financing is already secured by the investor partners. It is good news since project financing is too difficult in Turkey, especially at this time of global financial turmoil. Public institutions have limited or almost no capability.

The good side of that is Turkey will need more local private financing, and local contracting, local engineering. Your writer sincerely feels that our local private investors deserve all our support to complete those new power plant investments.

They deserve since they risk their own property in order to get proper "Corporate Financing" at reasonable interest rates, and payment terms.

We understand that the site is already purchased by the local partner. Since site is on the shore, we presume that the primary cooling medium will be via nearby sea water. Environmental Impact Report and Regulatory board licensing details are not released and not made public yet. We shall be too pleased to review them when made public.

Your writer within his humble capacity tries to avoid local partners to make any technical mistakes in their power plant basic design, furthermore to warn them not to make incorrect selection of the necessary equipment, wishes them to operate the plant for many years, to generate electricity which will push our economic prosperity.

Your writer paid a visit to the site in last summer. Villagers were very happy that there will be a wind power plant at the site with 3 MWe each 8 poles total. To our surprise, they had no information on combined cycle power plant.

It is our humble feeling that with the limited information we have received through press releases, we have noticed that local partner has almost minimum local engineering. That is a great pity on our side.

We understand that partners agreed all they have received from the OEM supplier, it is like almost complete surrender to the foreign partner/ supplier, with limited evaluation within their local limited engineering capability.

We hope that above explanation is sufficient in nature at this time, and we will be too pleased to receive your comments.

Haluk Direskeneli is an Ankara based Energy Analyst
Ankara, October 2008
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