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Turkish, Chinese firms ink $600M energy storage, wind plant deal

Türkiye’s Progresiva Energy Investments on Wednesday signed an agreement with Chinese electric power plant equipment manufacturer Harbin Electric International (HEI) for the building and financing of an electricity storage facility and wind farm.

The project that will encompass what will be Europe’s largest energy storage facility entails a total investment of $600 million, Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz told a ceremony in Ankara.

Yılmaz said $375 million is already in the pipeline for the initial phase. Some $300 million will be secured from China through Habin, with the remainder being financed by Progresiva through its equity.

Sami Arslanhan, chair of the board of Kontrolmatik, Progresiva’s main shareholder, said the investment would be implemented in two phases.

The investment size for the 1,000 MWh storage facility will range from $350 million to $375 million, while the investment size for the 250 megawatts (MW) wind farm will be approximately $250 million.

The financial advisory for the agreement was conducted by Istanbul-based OMG Capital Advisors.

According to the statement made by the company to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), HEI will be the main contractor for engineering, construction and procurement in the project.

Kontrolmatik will be responsible for electrical works, while its subsidiary Pomega will act as a subcontractor for the purchase of batteries.

The storage facility, to be located in Tekirdağ in the north Marmara region, known for intense industrial and energy consumption, is planned to be commissioned in 2025, followed by the wind farm in 2027.

Renewable push

“This project will enhance our national capabilities, propel Türkiye into a new phase in battery technologies, and pave the way for the largest energy storage facility in Europe,” Yılmaz said.

Türkiye’s installed electricity capacity reached 107,000 MW as of the end of 2023, compared to just 32,000 MW in 2022, the vice president said. Renewable energy resources constitute 55% of the capacity.

“Renewable energy support mechanisms and renewable resource areas have rapidly increased our country’s total energy installed capacity and production, making us one of the leading countries in clean energy transformation,” Yılmaz said.

“Our country ranks first in geothermal energy installed capacity, second in hydroelectric installed capacity, seventh in wind power, and eighth in solar power installed capacity in Europe.”

Yılmaz outlined plans for further expansion, including the commissioning of approximately 3,500 megawatts of solar and 1,500 megawatts of wind energy annually, along with the addition of 5,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy to the country’s energy portfolio.

Addressing Türkiye’s heavy energy import dependency, Yılmaz stressed the importance of reducing reliance through measures such as increasing domestic production, investing in nuclear energy, and promoting renewable sources and energy efficiency.

Türkiye aspires to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2053.

More Chinese tourists, investment

He emphasized the nation’s ambition to contribute to regional and global energy security while striving to become a regional hub and trading center.

Yılmaz said Türkiye has attracted $261.3 billion in foreign investments since 2003 and emphasized the the government’s commitment to strong policies in this regard.

Regarding Türkiye-China relations, Yılmaz acknowledged the trade volume surpassing $50 billion but called for efforts to address the existing trade imbalance. He stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation, particularly in tourism and direct investments, expressing the desire to see more Chinese tourists and investors in Türkiye.

He underscored the need for increased Chinese investment, considering Türkiye’s strategic location, large market potential, young and dynamic population, and entrepreneurial culture.

“In a perspective aimed at compensating for imbalances in trade, it is necessary to support tourism and direct investments. We want to see more Chinese tourists in Türkiye, and we want to see more direct investments from China into Türkiye,” Yılmaz said.

“I consider this project as a promising starting point. It’s a positive development, but it’s not enough; we are expecting more Chinese direct investors to come to Türkiye.”

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