Turkey’s energy sector still safe: Investors group head
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkey’s energy sector will continue to develop and remain unhindered by the recent coup attempt, the president of the country’s Energy Council of Foreign Investors said July 29.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency after the failed coup on July 15, Mario Diel, the council’s president, hailed the potential in Turkey’s energy sector and asserted that foreign investors would continue to invest in the country undeterred by the recent coup attempt.
“We should support the government and any steps they take to convince foreign investors to stay, invest and continue to work in Turkey,” he said.
Diel urged both foreign and Turkish entrepreneurs to uphold their trust in Turkey’s energy sector, proclaiming that regardless of the events in the past 10 days, Turkey would unlikely lose its significance in the region.
“Over the last decade, the growth in Turkey’s natural gas and energy demand was second to only China. The country is geographically located in close proximity to more than 70 percent of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves. Turkey definitely plays a major role in ensuring energy security through interdependence via diversification of supply sources. Additionally, the country offers major east-west corridors within the region,” he said.
‘Reestablishing ties with Russia, Israel significant’
Commenting on restoring relations between the two major energy players in the world, Russia and Israel, he said that after the downing of the Russian jet, Turkey’s economy was negatively impacted for months.
He added that Turkish and Israeli private sector companies were discussing a possible gas pipeline project to transport natural gas supplies to Europe through Turkey from the Leviathan gas field, which holds an estimated 500 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas.
“After normalization of relations with Israel, Turkey can benefit from this and will be able to export the country’s natural gas to Europe,” he explained.
Bilateral trade between Russia and Turkey is enormous and a critical issue, as Russia is Turkey’s main natural gas supplier and involved in Turkey’s first nuclear power plant.
Turkey imported 27 bcm of gas from Russia in 2015.
‘Megaprojects should begin’
He urged that after the normalization of relations between Russia and Israel, a number of megaprojects, including the construction of the Turkish Stream natural gas project, the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and the proposed transfer of Leviathan natural gas to Turkey, should start.
In 2010, Turkey signed agreements with Russia on the construction and operation of nuclear power plants in Turkey.
Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu, in the southern province of Mersin, was due to be carried out by Russia with a budget of $25 billion. It is under construction and will have a capacity of 4,800 megawatts with four units.
However, after relations soured between Turkey and Russia, doubts arose about the realization of the project.
“There were rumors that Turkish firms could also attribute to the construction of nuclear power plants, but I believe that Russia, which is an organic partner of the project, should restart the project,” Diel said, adding that he was convinced that the project would get back on track.