Ministry blocks power plant in Black Sea province after negative environmental report

Ministry blocks power plant in Black Sea province after negative environmental report

ANKARA – Reuters
Ministry blocks power plant in Black Sea province after negative environmental report After a negative environmental assessment report (ÇED) for a thermal power plant in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Samsun, the Environment Ministry has decided not to proceed with the construction of the plant. 

A thermal power plant with a 660-megawatt capacity was planned in Samsun’s Temre district, but studies showed that it would have a negative effect on both the natural environment and on tourism in the region, Reuters reported a senior official from the Environment Ministry as saying. 

“In the examinations, it was determined that problems regarding storage at the power plant would emerge, sea pollution would increase during the cooling process, the corridor of highlands would be effected negatively, and as well as agriculture, breeding and forestry, the tourism sector would also be negatively affected,” said the official, according to Reuters. 

“As of yesterday [Oct. 26], it was decided that the facility would not be constructed and the ÇED process would be ended completely,” the official added. 

Yaprak Güryel, the lawyer of the company that wanted to construct the thermal power, TİM Eurasia Inc., said they “did not believe the decision was based upon a technical reason.”

However, the Environment Ministry official said the company had not conducted the environmental benefit analysis and had also not conducted any assessment work on how the sea water would be affected if the power plant was set up. 

“As this area [where the power plant was planned to be built] is close to the Yeşilırmak Delta, it has been determined that it would also negatively affect the wetland of Akgöl,” the official said. 

Another official from the ministry said the views from Terme locals, collected during a consultation meeting in August 2014, were also taken into consideration. He also said such plants should be constructed in places where environmental concerns are lowest. 

TİM Eurasia Inc. has the legal right to appeal the decision at court. 

Terme Mayor Şenol Kul told Al Jazeera on June 4, 2015 that there was no reason for the power plant to be constructed in Terme other than earning more money. 

“I would accept it if they give a scientific reason why the power plant needs to be constructed here,” Kul was quoted as saying. “Our views were not asked for and the local administration was not consulted about the works.” 

The area where the power plant was planned is a natural site with lakes, highlands and mountains, where many endangered species live. 

It is also known for being the home of the legendary female warriors, the Amazons, which are mentioned in Homer’s “Iliad.” The Amazons were an ancient nation of women warriors who lived in the city of Themiskyra, located near the Terme (Thermedon) River in modern day Samsun. The Amazons are known to have settled in the Black Sea region in 1200 B.C. and each year a festival is held in their honor in the Terme district of Samsun.