Aksa Enerji Uretim AS, Turkey’s biggest non-government power producer, started construction of a 270-megawatt coal-fired power plant at a cost of 580 million liras ($319 million) in the northwestern province of Bolu.
Istanbul-based Aksa Enerji, part-owned by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., got a loan of $240 million from Turkiye Is Bankasi AS and Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS to finance the project, chief executive Serdar Nisli told reporters before the ground breaking ceremony in Bolu’s Goynuk district today, attended by Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. The remainder will be financed from Aksa’s own resources, he said.
Turkey’s energy industry is luring international companies such as Verbund AG and Austria’s OMV AG as electricity demand is set to grow by an average 6.3 percent over the next 20 years, according to data published by the energy market regulator. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bought 13.3 percent of Aksa Enerji in April for $240 million.
Aksa rose 2.8 percent to 3.64 liras at 1:56 p.m. in Istanbul, the biggest increase in more than two weeks.
The loan will be repaid over 12 years with a three-year grace period, Aksa Enerji Chief Financial Officer Cuneyt Uzun told reporters in Bolu. The loan will be signed within a month, he said, declining to provide details about interest costs.
The first 135-megawatt unit of the plant will be completed in October 2014 and the second one in March 2015, he said.
The power plant is part of a plan by Aksa to raise its capacity to 4,500 megawatts in five years from 2,500 megawatts currently, chairman Cemil Kazanci told reports in Bolu. Aksa has a target of 2 billion liras ($1.1 billion) of revenue this year, he said.
Aksa Enerji has acquired rights to extract an estimated 39 million metric tons of brown coal, or lignite, in the area for 35 years, Nisli said.