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Turkey has just signed a $12 billion agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to develop its huge coal fields in the southern part of the country. The deal between TAQA, in Abu Dhabi, and Turkey’s state-run utility EUAS represents the largest investment made by an Arab nation in the Turkish energy sector.
Taner Yildiz, the Turkish Energy Minister, remarked that “this is a very serious investment, a significant investment. This is the second-biggest investment made in Turkey after the two nuclear power plant projects.”
The Afsin-Elbistan basin in southern Turkey is estimated to contain around 4.4 billion tonnes of coal, around 40% of Turkeys entire reserves, and could provide enough fuel to power as much as 8.2GW of coal-fired power stations.
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Natural gas is currently Turkey’s largest source of energy. Most of it is imported which means that it accounts for a large portion of the nation’s current account deficit. Turkey hopes that the use of this coal, and the extra power generation that it could supply, will enable it to reduce its natural gas imports by around $1.2 billion.
Turkey currently imports a lot of its natural gas from Iran, and developing this coal would enable it to comply with Western pressure and reduce those imports.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com