Western Turkish coal plant’s privatization completed for $1 billion despite workers' opposition
A group of workers from a coal power plant in the Yatağan district of Muğla protest against privatization.Turkey’s Privatization Authority has announced that it has finalized the privatization process of a state-run coal plant in Yatağan in the Aegean province of Muğla, with a power generation capacity of 630 MW.
In the tender for the privatization of the coal plant, which was officially opened on June 12, the highest bid was offered by local energy contracting and generating firm company Elsan Electric, the Privatization Authority said in a written statement Dec. 2.
Elsan was also announced to have placed the highest bid of $1.091 billion to win the operational rights of a thermal power plant in Yatağan.
Elsan won the operating rights for the plant last June after outbidding its rivals - energy contracting firm Alsim Alarko and local food and energy company Konya Şeker - in the auction stage, which lasted five rounds.
Meanwhile, a group of workers blocked a highway on Dec. 1 for over half an hour to protest the privatization of the Yatağan coal plant.
The plant’s workers have staged a number of protests to show their disagreement with the government’s decision for the privatization, even holding a demonstration in front of the Energy Ministry in Ankara, which was brutally dispersed by the police. Their actions began more than a year ago when plans to organize a tender for the privatization of the plant was made public.
Some 4,000 workers are employed at the plant, including 1,500 miners who extract coal in the galleries around the facility.