Turkey's Akfen Holding eyes 1,000 MW renewable capacity with support from the EBRD and IFC

By Olga Rosca

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 Turkey's Akfen Holding eyes 1,000 MW renewable capacity with support from the EBRD and IFC

At the signing: Aisha Williams, IFC Country Manager for Turkey, Hamdi Akin, Akfen Holding, Chairman and Phil Bennett, EBRD Vice President

Akfen renewable energy subsidiary set to become a leading player in the sector

Akfen Holding, a leading infrastructure group in Turkey, is set to increase its renewable energy portfolio to 1,000 MW with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

The two international financial institutions have each acquired a 16.67 per cent stake in Akfen’s recently established subsidiary, Akfen Renewable Energy. Their capital injection of US$ 200 million will help the company become one of the largest producers of renewable energy in Turkey.

Afken’s current portfolio of renewable energy projects, including operational hydro and solar power plants, has a total operational capacity of 211 MW, and the company has several wind, solar and hydro projects under development.

Speaking at a press conference in London, Akfen Holding Chairman Hamdi Akın, said: “We expect both institutions to make significant contributions to our company's long-term value-creation strategies, its corporate governance, our implementation of  best practices in terms of environmental and social standards, our access to institutional investors who follow institutions such as the EBRD and IFC, and our ability to reach global standards in our current policies on transparency and accountability. The equity financing will be used for the construction and development of new projects and the expansion of current renewable energy investment projects.

"By stepping up our partnership with the EBRD and IFC, we plan to become one of the key investors in Turkey in the field of renewable energy. Our goal is to create a brand-new, leading platform which will generate energy from local renewable energy sources and in which corporate investors can become partners.”

EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett commented: “We at the EBRD believe strongly in the long-term fundamentals of the Turkish economy in general and in the potential of the country's power market in particular. Turkey remains reliant on imported fossil fuels and we welcome the government’s efforts to promote sustainable renewable energy. The EBRD and IFC support will enable Akfen to make a major contribution to the country’s renewable energy sector.”

Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President, Global Client Services, added: “Turkey is IFC’s second-largest country of operations globally, and in line with World Bank Group’s country strategy IFC has significantly increased its investments in the power sector by investing and mobilising US$ 695 million in the sector over the last three years. Renewable energy is a key and sustainable solution to meet ever-growing energy demand and Turkey benefits from a wealth of renewable energy resources. The private sector has a significant role to play in supporting Turkey’s targets in utilising these resources. We are happy to extend our strong relationship with Akfen into the energy sector and to continue to contribute to the company’s efforts to bolster renewable energy production.”

Note to editors:

Akfen Yenilenebilir Enerji A.Ş (Akfen Renewable Energy) is active in the production of power from renewable energy resources and in wholesale power sales. The installed power capacity of the operational projects of the company stands at 211 MW (204 MW of hydroelectric power plants (HEPPs) and 7 MW of solar energy plants), while the capacities of its ongoing projects under development are 24 MW of HEPP, and 9 MW of solar energy plants of which 8 MW are under licence and 1 MW non-licensed. In addition, a solar power project with 136 MW of installed capacity is under development, and wind power projects with a combined capacity of 984 MW are under assessment and entitled to participate in tenders to be held by the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation (TEİAŞ). The company has already started the development of 10 wind power projects with a capacity of 2,000 MW, as announced by TEİAŞ. 238 MW of the company’s renewable energy investments consist of run-of-river-type HEPP projects (a 204 MW HEPP project continues to produce power, while a 24 MW HEPP project is due for completion within six months). The remaining 151 MW comprises solar power plant projects (a 7 MW solar power plant is already operational, while another 9 MW project will be starting production within nine months). The company also supplies wholesale power to independent consumers via Akfen Elektrik Enerjisi Toptan Satış A.Ş (Akfen Wholesale).

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