European Bank inks huge wind farm deal in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Vice President for Operational Policies at the EBRD Jan Fischer was in Istanbul for the Gender and Employment Conference underscoring the EBRD’s commitment to gender issues . Company photoThe European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed a second major wind power deal in Turkey for 135 million euros on April 26 with Sabancı Holding and Verbund International’s Enerjisa.
The vice president for operational policies at the EBRD, Jan Fischer, spoke to the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview during his two-day visit to Turkey on April 24-25 for the “Gender and Employment Conference” in Istanbul, which was hosted by the EBRD. “The initial wind farm project was very successful,” Fischer said in the interview.
First 45 mln euro wind project was a success
The EBRD’s first project in Turkey was a 45 million euro loan for a wind farm project in the southern province of Osmaniye in 2009. The success of this prompted the EBRD to consider a second similar project. The second wind farm, to be constructed in the western province of Balıkesir, will consist of 52 wind turbines and will have a generation capacity of 142.5 megawatts. Upon its completion, expected in the second half of 2012, the Enerjisa wind farm will become Turkey’s largest wind farm to date, increasing Turkey’s current installed wind generation capacity of around 1.8 GW by approximately 8 percent.
Promoting energy efficiency and developing sustainable energy is part of the EBRD’s new strategy for Turkey, which was signed one week ago. Other key areas of the strategy include the development of micro and small to medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), with a particular emphasis on agri-businesses, and companies operating in Turkey’s developing regions.
The EBRD will also continue to promote market approaches towards investment in municipal infrastructure and support the banking sector through credit lines for on-lending to MSMES. Within this framework, however, Fischer stressed the EBRD’s commitment to gender issues. In particular, he explained that the EBRD was committed to two goals: fostering the participation of women in the workforce and protecting women from violence.
With this in mind, the EBRD has lent $150 million towards the privatization of İDO, Istanbul’s ferry firm that also operates to other provinces. “With this project we plan to ensure that more females are employed at İDO, which has traditionally been more of a boys’ club,” said Şevki Acuner, Deputy Director of the EBRD office in Turkey. The EBRD is also working with Turkey’s Garanti Bank on gender-equality projects, Acuner explained.
The EBRD has loaned 1.6 billion euros to Turkey in the past three years
, and invested 890 million euros in 2011 alone, Fischer said. Turkey, Russia and the Ukraine are among the EBRD’s most significant targets. It is also branching out to invest in the Arab Spring countries of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan, and will be using its experiences in Turkey as a benchmark, added Fischer.
Turkey will host EBRD’s 2013 annual meeting
The EBRD will open its second office in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara on May 30 to facilitate its activities here, as part of the new country strategy. The current EBRD office, established three years ago, is located in Istanbul. “As part of the EBRD’s commitment to the country, we plan to hold our 2013 annual May meeting in Turkey,” said Fischer.
Turkey is the sixth largest electricity market in Europe, and one of the fastest growing globally. The country is trying to diversify its dependence on imported fuel.