Monday, March 26, 2018

Turkey: We need to clarify the actual installed power

Today, we will bring important figure to the energy market employees. The recently announced installed power generation is 85,200 megawatts. We have peak figure - as of August 2017 - it is around 49-50 thousand MWe. The national grid system is having difficulties in supply electricity in case of local demand above 50,000 MWe. One other calculation is as follows. As of 2017, Turkey generated 300 billion Kwh electricity. If you divide that figure into total number of hours per year (8760 hours), you get an average figure of 34 thousand MWe.
There are thermal power plants that have not been operated in 85.200 MWe. There are power plants that have not generated electricity at all for the last 9-10 years. There are hydroelectric power plants which are not in operation.
There are solar power plants operating at 2500 hours a year and wind farms operating at 3000 hours a year. Availabilities of these plants are low but they are added in full capacity in installed power.
Idle power plants are not deducted from inventory list. What is the reason? Those public workers on official duty do not talk, but retirees are commenting. A long and fruitless procedure is required. Decision of political will, official decree is required for deduction.
Hopa thermal power plant has not been in operation for the last 10 years. Tunçbilek Thermal Power Plant's 1-2 units have not been in operation for the last 15 years and it is doubtful that they will be able to work after that. Two units of Afşin-A Thermal Power Plant have not been working for the last 10 years. Other units do not reach to full capacity. Afşin-B Thermal Power Plant repair is completed after the fire during maintenance.
Hamitabat old 1154 MWe combined cycle thermal power plant is not running and do not operate at full load. It does not work at all because a new plant has been rebuilt nearby from scratch and is on. But the old one still appears on the installed power list.
If you collect the power of power plants that are not working or are not taken out of inventory because of the prolonged procedure, you are doing a great miscalculation. When talking about the total installed capacity, you take into account this situation, you need use actual figures.
The same situation also had used for visible- total proven coal reserves in Turkey. Fortunately, the actual proven capacity figure was finally corrected by the responsible public organization.
International companies, international organizations (World Bank, International Energy Agency IEA, especially the US DOE and EIA) interested in our market make this improvement for us.
They keep our installed power in more realistic numbers. We hope that we will make the necessary corrections in the near future, and we will not continue to mislead ourselves, we will be realistic.

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

This article is written for "EurasiaReview" web site release.

Ankara March 26, 2018


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Isaac Asimov was right

There is a futuristic comment made by Russian-born American science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov (1920-1999) in his story titled "The Feeling of Power (1958)". People will get used to computing machines, devices, and calculators in such a distant future that they will eventually forget 4-simple math operations. During a galactic war, all of these devices will disappear, in the end they will "reverse engineer" and find it again in time. In the year 1958 this story was released, there were no computers, no calculators.
In the past week, in one of Turkey's leading a major university engineering faculties, the graduate students are entering an exam.
Their professor forbids to use iPhone and all simple calculators.
"You can answer all the questions with normal 4-simple math operations, put only 2 digits after the comma, and write the answer"
The exam is over, the papers are collected. Professor reads the exam papers, only two people in a class of 30 people can make the proper math transactions. Most of them can only do addition and subtraction, but not multiplication and division. This is not only in Turkey. It is also valid in many other countries, since people forget to make basic calculations and concentrate their attention to upper level problems.
When I finished school and started to work, there was only a simple 4-operation calculator in the office. We used each other in turn. Later in 1984, while working for a private company in the marketing department, there was no calculator. He made all the steam boiler calculations manually on paper. I asked the Boss once for a calculator, he refused to buy. He did not get me a calculator, but there was a big screen workstation on his desk, he did not know how to use. You can still make 4-simple math operations with your pencil on a sheet of blank paper, right?
Ankara March 25, 2018
Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

This article is written for "EurasiaReview" web site release.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Giselle Ballet

"Giselle" Ballet at Ankara Opera Ballet Theater

The two-act "Giselle" ballet music was composed by Adolphe Adam. Giselle Ballet was first performed in Salle de Palatier in Paris in 1841.
It was a sensational success in the premiere night, and then has been replayed in Europe, America and Russia for years. The ballet has been performed in the Ankara Conservatory repertoire since 1964. It is also on stage in Istanbul, AKM, Süreyya and Zorlu PSM venues as modern and classical. Ballet depicts a romantic love story.
The "Classic" Jean Coralli- Jules Perrot choreography will be on again in Ankara. This beautiful ballet will take place on the Ankara Opera Ballet stage on 24 (Premier) - 29 - 31 March 2018, and 14 - April 2018.
Conductors are Bujor Hoinic and Kartum Hoinic. Stage director is Zeynep Sunal Ongün. In the Giselle character, the three magnificent ballerinas of Ankara Ballet will be on the stage, alternating between Özge Başaran, Mine İzgi and Sultan Hinge.
Zorba, Harem, Frida, Bach / Alaturka Danzon and Nutcracker ballets will be on stage in Ankara opera house in this season.
Tickets are on sale online at 10:00 a.m. a month earlier.
After the box office sales, there is not much room left in the internet ticket. On the day of the sale the tickets were consumed within the same day. If you go to Opera-Ballet in the morning, you can get your ticket directly from 09-10 in the morning with cash money or credit card.
This article is written for "Odtu Alumni Bulletin". Ankara, 20 March 2018

Saturday, March 03, 2018

East Med Offshore waters are warming

Eastern Mediterranean Offshore Waters are warming- OpEd
Relative optimism on Eastern Mediterranean offshore gas explorations may soon face a nasty hard fact. First let’s see the latest offshore reserve figures. New figures are emerging every day about the East Med offshore natural gas reserves. Therefore we advise you to be cautious about the numbers we will give here. There are 320 bcm (billion cubic meter) in the Tamar region of Israel, 600 bcm in the Leviathan region, 130 bcm in the Southern Cyprus Aphrodite region, and an estimated 850 bcm natural gas reserves in the Egyptian Zohr region. Companies BP, ENI, Exxon, Total are working in the East Mediterranean region. Let’s keep in mind that annual Turkish import of natural gas is around 50bcm in recent years.
Turkish Naval Forces war ships, prevented drilling vessel of Italian oil company ENI, from reaching the controversial Cypriot offshore area. There was a pre-announced Turkish military maneuver in the area. Ankara showed its hard attitude towards the conflict with this intervention. Ankara states that the offshore reserves also belong to the Turkish part of the island, and want a fair share of natural gas resources.
Cyprus’s environment offshore region, is now the second area of conflict between NATO members. First conflict is in the Northern Syria. There is no war between NATO countries. This is not allowed. But they can always harass each other, dog fights are normal.
On the other hand, geographically, due to proximity to the mainland, easy logistical support, the overwhelming dominance of the naval and air forces of Turkish armed forces is unquestionable.
Ankara’s regional political and administrative anticipations no longer depend only on perceived threats, but also on energy reserves.
Since last week launched around Cyprus against gas exploration joint venture of French Total- Italian ENI, Turkey has stepped up military activities in the region.
The Egyptian-Turkish dispute continues on the other side of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Cairo put its weight on the side of Nicosia because of the Turkish statements of the Muslim Brotherhood and military activities that began in Syria and on the Horn of Africa. The Egyptian Foreign Minister said that not only the Cyprus offshore gas exploration projects, but the maritime trade agreement with the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Cyprus, 2003, applies to all.
In 2003, Cairo and Nicosia signed an agreement to set up an EEZ in the Eastern Mediterranean for natural gas exploration and production at nearby offshore sea regions. There is not yet an EEZ map agreed on Eastern Mediterranean countries. Every country takes care of their own interests and does not refrain from taking tough military measures to implement them.
Ankara opposes these formations because the Turkish Cypriots demanded legal rights and fair sharing over marine resources. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs regarded the Cairo- Nicosia EEZ agreement as “null and void”.
Cairo warned neighboring countries not to violate Egypt’s sovereign rights. South Cyprus and Egypt are supported by the European Union. Turkey began blocking against other sea areas to the Greek and Greek Cypriot ships. Ankara warned that international companies could lose Ankara’s friendship. Cairo aims to further expand its overseas production in the Zohr gas field and the latest BP offshore area. Cairo is implementing plans to become an big LNG exporter in the East Med region by 2020.
These plans will be combined with the Cyprus-Israel offshore gas production partnership.
Israel-Turkey relations were severed at the end. Israel’s plans on the old pipeline to export gas to Turkey. The US and EU first encouraged this partnership. The current stance in Ankara does not allow these joint plans anymore.
Eastern Mediterranean easiest and cheapest transit route to European markets is passing over Turkish mainland soon after production of offshore gas. Other alternatives seem to be more expensive, long-term, hard tricky solutions.
One way of making Israeli gas commercially attractive is export co-operation with Egypt. Ankara’s strategic preferences now seem to consolidate Egyptian-Israeli ties. South Cyprus, the EU member, is considered the gateway to Europe and therefore they have of strategic importance. With the possibility of re-opening and possibly expanding Egypt’s existing LNG liquefaction schemes, a new Triple Coalition for offshore gas production may be established.
Fair Share demand not just from Turkey – Nearby countries Lebanon and Syria also ask to have their share.
Israeli navy is expanded forces to protect gas projects and shipping lines. An increasing foreign threat in Lebanon will only give more emphasis to Israel. The expansion of the Israeli navy will not only be threats to the north, but also the threats to the Palestinian extremist Hamas movement overseas projects.
When we look at the facts in the region, there is a possible hot war. “Eastern Mediterranean” gas futures will get harmed.
Increasing insecurity in the region or possible war does not only threaten Israel or Lebanon, but it also spreads to other countries.
In the big picture, gas operations are not the only threat.Threats and conflicts at sea can also damage other oil transports. Offshore region may face complete military conflict involving Israel-Cyprus-Lebanon area, from Ceyhan (Turkey) to block incoming oil transit lines.
At the same time, in a direct conflict between Cyprus and Turkey, will also direct transit routes through the Strait threatening Greeks.
Both can threaten the transportation volume between 1.6 million bpd (BTC pipeline) and 2.9 million bpd (Bosphorus).
There is not much that the US and Europe can do for now.
Without rational fair share of natural gas reserves between nearby countries, a permanent solution is not possible to accept in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ankara March 6, 2018
Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

This article is written for "EurasiaReview" web site release.


Friday, March 02, 2018

Castration Effect

A “Castrato” is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or one who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity. Castration is non-reversible.
In business world, we have a similar feeling in the market, but that is reversable if cared properly. One day in late 2006, a Korean Company has internally decided to come to Turkey, to capital city Ankara in order to meet with reputable local companies private and public for future cooperation and partnering in local Turkish energy market. Through an international business colleague, they asked your writer to help them in local networking. At first we asked appointment from top management of public companies, Ministry, EUAS, TEDAS, and TEIAS etc.
Our Public companies have the similar attitude these days. They say "Since we should get 3- offers and evaluate for almost 3-months for each bolt we need, we cannot finalize any investment in the modern times in a reasonable short period of time. Therefore we ask private investors to make the investment. We expect the maximum rental fee for our treasury." Good point, good thinking, very logical.
We also asked appointment from private companies for mutual meetings for future cooperation. Most of them accepted and invited us to their head offices. That was almost no cost for them other than some business time to allocate.
On both sides, we had almost similar presentations. At first, our visiting foreign Company introduced their colorful hardcopy documentation, their home country references of various thermal power plants, as well as nuclear. Documentations were beautiful but they had no meaning in content. Anyhow that was something other than nothing. They had pictures of their international experiences, reference plants in the Middle East and elsewhere. However these documentations explained their companies with relatively poor verbal English.
In response our local companies explained how wonderful work they do in local and/or international environments.
Surprisingly Turkish scope covered only civil works and site installation, plus maybe some construction of administration buildings / some catering. That was all. It is a pity. Most of our companies don’t have courage to exceed these simple activities. These activities are simple, hard work with minimum cost, almost with minimum value added value. It is so sad to say that our companies cannot handle basic engineering, they cannot handle overall leadership.
So we all handle the hard work, whereby our international partners get the biggest portion of the scope and profit.
The Koreans were at the lowest life style in 1950s in the Korean War and at that time we sent our troops to save them. After 50 years, their GNP is almost twice of ours now. Korean Company had turnkey engineering and complete project leadership capability. They constructed all their thermal power plants by themselves. Similarly they constructed many nuclear power plants in Korea under license.
They have the same software and hardware available as elsewhere, and they purchased the necessary technical license to handle design works of all types’ thermal power plants. They recently signed a license agreement with a reputable USA company to construct CFB boilers to fire all types of poor quality with low LHV local lignite.
In the international markets, today US or UK companies, German/ French/ Italian companies are too expensive. They can not receive any order in our local market due to their high market prices. On the other hand China, Indian, Korean companies are relatively cheaper in turn key EPC contracts
If we do not show our engineering expertise, our market will soon be dominated by these Eastern companies and as a result our local companies will be doing only the simple hard work with lowest profit margins.
We visualize a sort of “Castration Effect” in our local contracting companies. Are these local companies “Castrato”?? That is unfortunately created by our public companies over the years while looking for international foreign companies. All we need is courage, at least within our own environment. We should start to construct our own thermal power plants by ourselves. Foreign companies cannot design; construct power plants to fire our special local indigenous lignite. Only Turkish engineers can do it, since we live all our life with this local fuel.
Our local private companies are to decide if they will continue to have simple works all the time, and vanish, or make drastic change and start doing new investments on engineering talent by supplying the engineering staff with appropriate software and hardware, plus necessary technical licensing, to enable their companies work as turnkey EPC contractor as leading company. That is the most important key decision now.
Finally we have some good news for you. A local investor company built its own 3x60 MWe Combined cycle power plant in Aliaga through its own engineering capability. They are now planning to build new coal fired power plant. One other local contracting company has completed their local lignite fired CFB steam boiler in Konya Cumra sugar plant. It is in successful trial operation for last 2-years. We are very happy to learn that another leading Turkish energy company has built their combined cycle power plants in Ankara Sincan and Kayseri Organized Industrial zones based on their own local engineering capability. They received recent order for construction of similar plants in Israel and Russia.
As the old saying goes, “If you think you can, you can.”

Ankara, 3rd March 2018

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