Limak turns to energy after airport sell out

Limak turns to energy after airport sell out

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Limak turns to energy after airport sell out

Limak Yatırım Chairwoman Ebru Özdemir.

Turkish infrastructure group Limak Yatırım is planning to double its investments in the en-ergy sector after selling its shares in Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen airport to focus on the third airport project, the group’s chairwoman said.

“We foresee using a 285 million-euro source in our new energy projects and third airport,” Limak Yatırım Chairwoman Ebru Özdemir told Reuters Sept. 22.

The construction-to-energy group announced it reached an agreement with airport operator TAV to sell its 40 percent share in the airport located on the Asian side of Istanbul for 285 million euros.

The group is one of the five members of the consortium that won the construction and operation bid for Istanbul’s third airport. The construction of the third airport, which is being built in a forested area of northern Istanbul close to the city’s last reservoirs, was awarded for 22.1 billion euros to a consortium of Cengiz, Kolin, Limak, Mapa and Kalyon in May 2013.

“The third airport is a grand project. From now on, we will focus on this with our partners,” Özdemir said.

The airport has attracted massive controversy due to the clear-cutting of the city’s last forests, as well as acute concerns that the accompanying destruction of the reservoirs will produce an ecological catastrophe.

The chairwoman also stressed that energy will be the main business arm of Limak Group, “which believes in the future of the energy sector in Turkey.”

“We want to be a strong energy actor in the region. We will diversify production, as we are already in the trade and distribution side of the sector,” she said, adding that the establishment of coal-, wind- and solar-power plants were among the company’s primary aims. Noting the group currently has an approximately 2,000-megawatt energy portfolio, Özdemir said she foresaw the group doubling its energy business in five years, adding that partnered projects may also be on the cards.
“We are also planning to make some acquisitions to grow in energy,” she added.