Thursday, August 26, 2010

EnergyLeaks in Sinop

Dear Colleagues,
It is quite difficult to get correct information on energy issues here in our country. Private companies do not wish to release negative information obviously. They wish to advise that they are profitable for their shareholders, environmentally friendly for the general public, prudent in spending, smart in their investment decisions.  On the other hand, public enterprises/ public institutions/ the ministry would like to picture the best available environment, tough in regulations, business friendly for the investors.

Are all these real ?? Not so much. Real world we live in is completely different. If you wish to criticize not so environmentally friendly activities of private as well as public owned/ operated thermal power plants, or dirty applications of deep sea discharge, lack of dust precipitators, pollution of air, water, sea, soil, then they you receive legal warning if it is not intimidation. Please do note that at this time, nobody gets intimidated. Never ever.
We feel that e-group/ internet environments, are a sort of "WikiLeaks" of the virtual world, sort of "EnergyLeaks" of the real world. We need to learn more about EIA reports, more about public enterprises, more about new investments with imported coal firing thermal power plants, their environmental impacts, new privatizations in distribution and electric generation plants, problems of existing power plants. This is not limited to renewable energy, not limited to thermal power plants but also problems in nuclear projects. Since leaks are not reliable, we make our own interpretations until we get sound public announcements.
Do you think that the Nuclear Power plant construction in Sinop Turkey by Koreans will be as fast as Russian plant in Akkuyu?? We don't think so. In Russian contract, Russians have no worry about payment. There is no risk in their Energy sales Agreement since we buy natural gas and hard coal. In case of any payment difficulty, they simply cut off gas in winter time. Anyhow it is our pure speculation that the Sinop Nuclear Power plant contract will wait for a while, until we shall have a dependable, secure, economically sound, politically reliable new government in power, which would be after 12th Sep referendum and even after 2011 general elections. All works are preliminary and all are on hold. A Nuclear power plant contract between South Korea and Turkey is not so easy to finalize.  
The ARP-1400, a third-generation Korean Nuclear model with 1400 MWe available for overseas projects, was developed by Doosan Heavy Industries based on System 80+ design of USA.  You may say that the US would not have a problem with South Koreans selling reactors to Turkey.   While Turkey has moved into good relations with Iran, it has also been blocked by France over European Union entry. US would welcome opportunity to balance Russian energy influence in Turkey with a South Korea project. Note that South Korea has tremendous credibility in Middle East right now having inked $20 billion multi-reactor deal with UAE last December for same design.
In any case South Koreans are fully dependent on USA Foreign Office in their decisions. In the end there should be no conflict of interest with Obama Administration. Without US foreign office approval, there will be no development in nuclear power plant construction in Sinop. US Foreign office has certain hesitation and reservations on strategic partnership and our joint security at our region.  We feel that US Foreign Office is ignorant and indifferent to Turkey, and to Turkish priorities.  Anyhow without firm commitment from our end, they will not release an approval. So please be sure that Koreans are not alone in decision making process for nuclear technology transfer to Turkey, their finance is directly dependent on their overseas institutions, and their nuclear technology is controlled by US nuclear technology licensors, all their overseas initiatives are controlled by the big brother. Hence if you read news that the draft contract is expected to be released by the end of 2010 that is not so reliable. If it would be after July 2011 general elections, that is reasonable. 
Do not be too optimistic. This is politics, and this is international relations. You can only rely on your own technology, if you can create one of your own.  Your comments are always welcome. With deepest regards
Haluk Direskeneli,
Ankara based Energy Analyst

Click to join EnergyNewsletterTurkey

Click to join EnergyNewsletterTurkey

Free Blog Counter