Energy minister claims 9 million trees could be planted with rent from coal plant in Yırca
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
A coal plant is seen amid felled olive trees in Yırca. AA PhotoTurkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız has said 9 million trees could be planted with the income from the rent brought by the coal plant in the village of Yırca, located in the Soma district of the western province of Manisa.
Yıldız said the 6,000 olive trees cut down in Yırca would have brought in 1 million Turkish Liras annually, whereas the coal power plant planned to be built in the area would bring 153 million liras of rent to the state annually.
“The income of 6,000 trees is 1 million liras anually. The equivalent of 153 million tons of coal is $7.5 million. This will be extracted in 30 years. The yearly income from the rent we will receive is 153 million liras. So, if we want, we can plant not 6,000 but 9 million olive trees from this [income],” Yıldız told Parliament on Dec. 9 during a meeting to discuss the motion against him on the recent mine disasters, including in Soma and Ermenek.
Some 6,000 olive trees were controversially felled by a contractor to build a coal plant in Yırca in just one night last month, before the project was aborted by the Council of State after heavy criticism. Locals had stood guard to prevent the cutting, but to no avail.