European energy giant to open power plant in Samsun
European energy giant OMV is planning to open an 870-megawatt gas-fired power plant in the Black Sea province of Samsun. The company is investing 600 million euros in the plant, which is designed to meet 3-4 percent of Turkey's total electricity demand. Speaking at the facility's groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, OMV Group CEO Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer said the company has no interest in entering the electric or gas distribution sector. Verbund, OMV's partner in Austria, however, is planning to invest in Turkey's energy distribution sector. Also speaking at the ceremony, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, appealing to environmentalists concerned about the plant, said there are objectors to all kinds of energy, including renewable energy, but that such projects need to proceed due to Turkey's growing energy needs. "We don't have the luxury to tell people that we need to have power cuts two hours a day," Yildiz said. "Turkey's annual growth rate in energy, combined with international capital, is around $5.5 billion. We have to make these investments through the private sector in a more liberal and competitive environment." He also said the total amount of money raised after energy privatizations this year was $16 million. "Turkey has more than 8,000 kilometers of coastline, which means there is space for tourism, culture and energy projects," said Yildiz. "But we can't give up on energy projects for the sake of others, and I don't think that choosing one means we can ignore the rest."