KRG's oil transfer via Turkey under spotlight
The government is considering the decision they will take on whether to continue the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) oil transfer through Turkey, Turkey's Energy Ministry Undersecretary Fatih Donmez said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the eighth Turkey Energy Summit, Donmez said that although no decision has yet been taken on the KRG's oil exports following the illegal independence referendum on Sept. 25, the issue is currently on the agenda and is being examined.
"However, we will decide on our stance based on instructions from the [Turkish] government. As of today, there is no decision yet, although this does not mean that there will not be one," he asserted.
The regional government, led by President Masoud Barzani, has enjoyed close ties with Ankara and had used a pipeline stretching from northern Iraq to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan to export oil, a mainstay of the KRG economy.
However, the independence referendum -- held in KRG-controlled areas across northern Iraq, including those disputed with the central government in Baghdad -- has threatened this relationship.
The KRG's net income from exports through the Ceyhan port amounted to almost $416 million in October 2016, according to the KRG's Ministry of Natural Resources Monthly Export and Production Report in 2016 - the ministry's latest monthly oil report released.
The report showed that the KRG exported 19 million barrels of crude oil in total and an average of nearly 614 thousand barrels of oil per day in the month of October last year through the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.
Eighth Turkey Energy Summit
The eighth Turkey Energy Summit is a two-day event currently running in Antalya, which has gathered over one thousand delegates both from Turkey and abroad. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak will also speak at the summit tomorrow, Donmez said.
Renewables will be a focal sector of the summit, Donmez said, stressing the importance of the two Renewable Energy Resources Zone Project (YEKA) tenders in Turkey.
"We had very good results at these tenders. In solar energy, for example, this year we will lay the foundations of a solar map of the country and we hope that the first solar panel will be laid in 2019. In the following years, we hope to open this station," he said.
Kalyon Holdings together with the South Korean Hanwha Q-Cells consortium won the tender for Turkey's biggest solar power plant project - the Karapinar Renewable Energy Resources Zone Project, in Konya's Karapinar province in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey on March 20.
The consortium is responsible for building a 500-megawatt solar panel production facility and a solar power plant with 1,000 megawatts of capacity.
"In wind, a total of one thousand megawatts of wind capacity will be constructed in five or six different locations. These turbines need to be 65 percent locally manufactured. Siemens has won this tender - a very strong company in its field," he asserted.
The wind tender on Aug. 3 saw the submission of bids and attendance of the world's top wind turbine producers for Turkey's 1,000-megawatt wind project. A Siemens Gamesa - Turkerler - Kalyon consortium won the first 1,000-megawatt wind tender offered by YEKA.
"The company is currently preparing for production. We know that their work will not only help the local production sector to develop but also it will help local producers to become exporters of this technology to regional countries," he concluded.