Sunday, January 18, 2009

Energy Overview of Ankara, 2009

Dear Energy Professional, Dear Colleagues,

Turkish Chamber of Mechanical Engineers is participating to 2nd Urban Symposium in Ankara on 17th January 2009 Saturday afternoon. As an active member of Energy Commission in The Chamber of Mechanical Engineers since graduation year of 1973, your writer is to deliver a speech on "Energy Overview in City of Ankara" in Ankara 2nd Urban Symposium in IMO Conference Hall.

It is much easier to give a speech on Turkey rather than the city of Ankara. The problems of energy supply and distribution are not isolated that of the whole country, hence your writer has tried to bring together some milestones of information to evaluate and prepare the speech document upfront. Here is the summary of that speech,

Natural Gas Interruption in the West

Household heating in City of Ankara is dependent on natural gas which comes mostly from Russia through Blue Stream pipeline. We also have Iranian gas in Ankara. City of Ankara will not be affected by the current Ukrainian gas interruption/ conflict. However North West of Turkey and City of Istanbul will be most affected.

On the other hand the current gas price is too high compared to other fuel sources. It is to be around 420- 450 US Dollars per thousand cubic meter in Western Europe which is the same tariff we are charged by the original supplier on the North.

That addiction is too costly as long as we are dependent on one source, the source supplier on the North will not hesitate to increase the prices to the maximum level that we can pay.

Solution is in more indigenous energy generation, from local coal, more coal gasification (IGCC), more electricity from renewable, wind, hydro, solar, more intellectual investment new engineering staff in nuclear technology for its better applications, with creating less waste, more control over operation.

Heating insulation of housing structures is also a good alternative/ green solution to reduce heating expenses. Insulation material (styrophor, rock wool etc.) is locally manufactured at reasonable prices. At this time payback period is less than 5 years, but in this ever increasing fuel expenses, it will be reduced to more reasonable/ comfortable price levels.

Clean Coal Technologies;

We should seriously consider more gasification (IGCC) from local coal, more CFB firing in thermal power plants to implement Clean Coal Technologies and more investments in centralized district heating systems in housing to be incorporated with new combined cycle power plants.

Natural Gas Privatization

Global Energaz was the highest bidder in an auction in March 2008 to buy Ankara's state-owned natural gas network, currently run by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, after offering US $1.610 billion for one of the most valuable assets in the country's privatization program. However the payment of the auction is not so easy for the winning partners in this global financial crisis.

The Ankara gas network has assets valued at US $570 million and 1.1 million customers. It is advised that approximately 3.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas were consumed in Ankara in 2007 and estimated that consumption would double over the next decade.

Green Energy, Wind/ Solar;

We should also consider alternative/ sustainable/ green energy such as wind turbines on windy mountains around Ankara i.e. Elmadag, HuseyinGazi crest. As the country begins to involve itself in wind energy investments, we should produce inland/On-shore wind turbines.

Wind turbines cost approximately 1 million to 1.2 million Euros per 1 Mwe unit on the global markets. But, the turbines produced locally in Turkey will have a lower price tag.

Solar panels are not that feasible in near future for Ankara environment.

Nuclear Technology Option;

In the long run to answer ever increasing energy needs, we may even consider planning for nuclear power plant on lower Kizilirmak river basin, provided that we educate our nuclear engineering staff in latest nuclear technology to carry out design, construct, operate and decommission properly by ourselves.

Air and Water Pollution;

We should plan to have more investments to exploit more of our local resources and reduce air and water pollution. Air pollution is the major problem in Ankara.

An important report prepared and released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, titled "Environmental Performance Evaluation Report: Turkey," was released on last days of 2008. The report said air pollution in certain areas (especially in Ankara) surpassed national air quality standards, calling on them to be brought up to EU standards, and offering support for the New Energy Efficiency Law.

Air pollution is created by poor quality coal firing in household heating during winter time, and car/bus exhaust all year. Natural gas and central heating systems should be encouraged in house heating and more mass transportation is to be introduced to reduce the problem.

Water pollution is not posing any major problem in the short run. Definitely, necessary funds should be allocated and water disposal infrastructure should be constantly upgraded in a detailed and long-standing program. Water scarcity in summer time and the poisonous substances in the available potable water are the most important problems at this time.

Privatization in Electricity Distribution

The Public Electricity Distribution Company in Ankara (Baskent distribution) distributes almost 10 TWh of electricity per year (2007) to 2.9 million customers. Turkey, with its 70 millions people, is comparable to the whole Central Europe.

The Turkish government relaunched the tender selling electricity distribution grids on July 1, 2008, after an interruption of the procedure in year 2007.

A consortium consisting of Sabancı, Verbund of Austria and Enerjisa has been awarded for the operational rights of the grid in and around the capital of Ankara and 5 other neighboring provinces for nearly US $1.225 billion.

It is no surprise that the winning partners will have difficulty to pay the auction price in this financial global crisis. There are rumors that all winning parties face similar financial difficulties.

Theft & loss within Ankara electricity distribution system is estimated to be around 8.7 % which is lower than national average 15.1 %, although these rates need to be verified.

Prevailing household and industrial customer satisfaction is not at expected levels, likewise energy quality and electricity interruptions are creating problems in within urban distribution.

Street lighting is not sufficient in the sub-urban regions of the city, whereas the main streets are equipped wastefully.

Turkish government sources have cut their estimate for the country's electricity consumption in 2008 to 198 billion kwh down from an earlier 204 billion kwh, acting undersecretary of the energy ministry, announced in an energy conference in December 2008.

Turkey's economic growth fell to 0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2008 as the global economic crisis bites firms and consumers. However, apart from that stagnation in 2009, similar to that of the year 2001, Turkish economy and electricity consumption is expected to be growing for several years in future.

Electricity consumption is growing about 8 - 9 % annually between 2000-2008 compared to the European states with year-on-year growth at about 2 - 3%. However in year 2009, a negative growth rate is expected.

Considering low per capita electricity consumption, almost 3000 kwh per capita which is at 25 % of EU states average level, fast urbanization, increasing population (moreover Turkish average age of population is only 27.3 in comparison with 38.5 at EU, with 42.3 at Germany) and increasing economic growth as well, it is expected that the electricity consumption will increase rapidly for the following years.

According to experts' estimation, Turkey will have to build about 50,000 MW of generation capacity till 2020 to meet its fast growing electricity consumption.

Available Power Plants to generate Electricity;

In order to respond to the ever growing energy demand of the city of Ankara, let us see what we have in the city boundaries,

Cayirhan local mine mouth lignite firing thermal power plant, 4x 160 Mwe

Ayen Energy natural gas firing combined cycle power plant in Ostim Organized Industrial Zone, 35 Mwe

Zorlu Energy natural gas firing combined cycle power plant in Sincan Organized Industrial zone, 60 Mwe

Baymina natural gas firing combined cycle power plant in Temelli, 770 Mwe

Hirfanli (Kirsehir, Meram Distribution) Hydroelectric dam, 4 each x 32 MW (400 Gwh)

Kesikkopru Hydroelectric Dam, 2x 46.2 Mwe, (250 Gwh)

KapuluKaya (KirikKale) Hydroelectric Dam, 54 MWe (190 GWh)

Kirikkale 13 each x 11 Mwe diesel engine + 1x9.5 MWe ST based oil firing mobile power plant, 150 Mwe

Esenboga Park oil firing mobile power plant, 53.7 Mwe

Kirikkale Tupras thermal power plant, 4 x 12 Mwe ST,

Bilkent University, BilEnerji CCPP plus CHP, 36 MWe

ORS Polatli, 10 MWe small CCPP

TAV, Esenboga International Airport auto producer three-generation, 4 MWe

KizilcaHamam (and Beypazari) Geothermal district heating and energy generation in future

Under the light of above information, our ball park calculation relieves that Ankara generates more electricity than she consumes at this time.

Missing Capacity in Hydroelectric Dams,

However, due to inappropriate planning, Ankara Greater Municipality gets potable water from KesikKopru Hydroelectric dam, approximately 140 million m3 per year.

That amount water captured from the main reservoir, reduces the electricity generation of the other downstream hydroelectric dams namely, Kesikköprü, Kapulukaya, Obruk (under construction), Boyabat (under construction), Altınkaya and Derbent.

That value of missing electricity capacity (approx. 80- 100 MWe) has to be compensated by the Greater Municipality under prevailing local commercial terms.

In any case, energy demand is still high in Ankara, and will continue to be higher in future.


If you do wish to have energy supply security in your homeland, and if you do not wish to give any concession in your foreign policy, you should depend on your own young local engineering capability at a reasonable and independent cost.

You can only get it through your own hard work by employing your young talents with their latest scientific and intellectual capability, to design, construct, operate the power plants, learn more about nuclear technology, as well as employ the green technology, reduce air and water pollution. It is also a matter of survival of the fittest in this region.

Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all

Haluk Direskeneli is an Ankara-based Energy Analyst


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