Turkey shuts power plants for not installing filters
ANKARA-Demirören News Agency
Five thermal power plants have been shut down completely and another one partially for failure to comply with a law to install filters, authorities said on Jan. 1.
Four out of seven plants surveyed were allowed to operate temporarily, Environment Minister Murat Kurum told a news conference in Ankara.
“The power plants shut down will not be allowed to go into operation until they complete the environment protocols,” he said.
On Dec. 3, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vetoed a law that would have delayed the installation of filters on thermal power plants.
The motion postponing the installation of filters in 15 thermal plants for two-and-a-half years had drawn public anger due to concerns over air pollution and severe health problems.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said that the average hourly power output of the thermal power plants is 1,883 megawatts.
“We have enough reserve capacity to balance it with other plants,” he said.
“Closing these power plants or halting their production for a certain period of time will not pose any problems to our energy supply. With our installed power of over 90,000 MW and diversity of resources, our electricity supply will continue uninterrupted,” he added.
Dönmez also said that energy companies should make investments of nearly $100 million in total in order to comply with the necessary regulations.
Two thermal power plants in the western province of Kütahya, one each in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak and the Central Anatolian towns of Afşin and Kangal were closed permanently—until they obey the codes issued by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry.
“The relevant public institutions and organizations will keep up working to continue generation and employment in accordance with environmental standards,” said the governor’s office in the Afşin district of the southern Kahramanmaraş province.
Four thermal plants in the northwestern town of Orhaneli, the Aegean town of Yatağan, the Central Anatolian towns of Afşin and Çakırhan were given temporary licenses.
The authorities gave a period of one month to install filters on three chimneys in the thermal power plant in Soma, a district in the western province of Manisa. The period expired on Jan. 1, but no filters were installed in the chimneys. The teams, accompanied by police, acted at midnight, and they went to the Soma Thermal Power Station in the first minutes of the new year and sealed the site.
The thermal power plant in Soma had six units and 165-megawatt power, which had in each of them one steam turbine generator, one boiler, one condenser and one cooling tower. The power plants caused air pollution, said the local people, and they welcomed the decision to veto the delay for installing filters.