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Norway Statkraft eyes hydropower growth in Turkey

Norway Statkraft eyes hydropower growth in Turkey

OSLO: Norwegian energy company Statkraft, Europe’s biggest producer of renewable energy, is eyeing more hydropower investments in Turkey, its chief executive said late on Tuesday. As part of Turkey’s efforts to liberalise its power market, the privatisation body started the tender process for 10 hydropower plants in July. The tenders are due to be completed by the end of this year.

There are several portfolios of public tenders that we are evaluating, we have paid to get access to all documents and we have analysts looking at these,” Statkraft CEO Christian Rynning-Toennesen told Reuters in an interview. “We are also exploring the Turkish markets, whether we could have an integrator role, or be combining the electricity from hydropower, windpower, solar and other sources of energy into a mix that is the most profitable both for the customers and for the owners of the plants,” Rynning-Toennesen said.

Statkraft’s second hydropower plant in Turkey, a 102 megawatt (MW) plant in the centre of the country in which the company invested 250 million euros, goes online on Wednesday, Rynning-Toennesen said. A third plant in Turkey, state-run Statkraft’s biggest outside Norway with a 517 MW capacity, is being built in the south-east. The Cetin plant is expected to be completed in 2018, with an estimated 600 million euros of investment.

Statkraft said it expected the Turkish power market to expand by 6 percent a year until 2020, by virtue of a growing population and increased consumption per head of population. “Turkey is one of the most important countries to invest in, so we regard Turkey to be very important in the long term, not only these days,” he said. Statkraft has no local partners in Turkey, but Rynning-Toennesen said the company would welcome future partners.

The Norwegian company sees Turkey, a country of 78 million heavily dependent on energy imports, as one of its key markets. “Turkey is blessed with a situation that you can have a strong combination of hydropower, windpower and solar. So a good strategy of Turkey would be to increase its renewables,” Rynning-Toennesen said.