Ahead of Europe Will be…Turkey

Turkey flag on pole with bell

The Turkish project freight market is booming. Everything thanks to wind. More correctly, thanks to growing wind generation market. Paolo Astaldi, CEO for Italian construction group Astaldi, noted the decision of the Turkish government to proceed with financing of infrastructural projects in the background of continuous developments of global recession as a “wise strategy bringing its fruit.”

His positive view is justified. Nicely-located at the junction of Europe, Asia and Middle East, Turkey has already commenced execution of the ambitious program to implement projects in the sphere of renewable energy sources and energy saving. The country is aspiring to increase the share of “clean” energy to 30 percent of its consumption by 2023 – by a centennial of the Turkish Republic. By 2020 only, more than USD 40 billion are planned to be spent on these purposes, and according to some estimation, Turkey will have become the third country in Europe with its economic development by 2020.

The recent World Bank report states that the employment level in Turkey has reached the pre-recession levels, GDP growth and export helped the country recover its economy in the most rapid way. “Turkey is one of the few countries demonstrating better indicators if compared to the pre-crisis period,” says Ulrich Zachau, World Bank’s Director for Turkey.

“It is true that Turkey was less impacted by the global recession. Many projects went on, particularly due to decision of the government to invest in such sectors as wind generation plants construction. This contributed to stable demand in the heavy lift and oversize freight services market in Turkey,” believes Efsun Sarac, President and CEO for SNS International.

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However, he doesn’t expect any drastic changes in the country’s economy in the next few years, but as stated by the specialist: “Turkish contractors will receive multiple orders for major construction and energy projects, and this will be a real boost to growing demand in the project freight sector, with local carriers obtaining invaluable experience. Certainly, the requirements will be more and more strict, but at the same time, this sector will enjoy exciting prospects. Turkish companies will be able to secure more orders on oversize transport in other countries.”

Here are only a few examples. In November, the Turkish energy company Enerjisa declared obtainment of a EUR 1 billion credit (USD 1.33 billion) to finance the second stage of its investment project. The funds will be spent on establishment of the power generation complex of facilities with a total capacity of 1,045 MW which shall include the combined cycle gas turbine unit in Bandirma province, hydropower plant in Dogancay, hydropower plant in Yamanli province and a wind power plant in Dagpazari. Statkraft (Norway) has recently confirmed its intention to build a 102-MW plant in Central Anatolia. This is already the second project of this company in Turkey.

In addition, Turkey is one of the rapidly growing energy markets in Europe, where annual power consumption makes 200 TWh (terawatt-hours), and this figure is expected to be doubled by 2020 due to increase of population.

In this context, wind energy production in Turkey rose by 75% last year – to 800 MW. The government announced its decision to encourage growth of these indicators to 10 GW by 2014, and to 20 GW by 2023 for Turkey to become one of the third largest wind power producers in Europe.

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– A decision to invest in wind generation capacities and construction of new factories for fabrication of accessories for these plants entailed new demands in logistics, says Semra Asil, Sigma company. – Our last job exactly consisted in deliveries of such equipment from Ankara to Afghanistan. Apart from blades and WPP towers, it is also needed to deliver associated equipment and materials: steel structures, motors, construction equipment. We have focused on delivering such cargoes from Turkey to the Middle East, as well as to Asian and African countries, in particular, to Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

Selin Magdenli from Magdenli Transport and Trade Co noted: “The Turkish government is trying to invest directly, or at least to encourage investments in energy projects which will contribute to economic growth. Owing to this state support, it’s a win situation for the companies engaged in the project freight market, especially in the context of complicated status of global economy. We are optimistic about the current economic situation and target to expand our operations in the nearest future.

Magdenli already gained from Enerjisa investment as it is the exclusive logistics operator to deliver the CCGT unit to Bandirma province. This was the heaviest gas turbine ever delivered to Turkey and weighing 411 tons, manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan). The company is now preparing to deliver the second similar turbine.

So, Turkey showed itself pretty well in the global recession period, partly because of endurance of its banking system, but was still impacted by crisis as the demand for Turkish goods dropped and Turkish export reduced. Still, investing in infrastructure such as: energy and transport – hasn’t stopped, therefore project cargoes keep on arriving in Turkey. Supporting the economic growth, this country is implementing several important aspects – it continues to build highways, railways and ports. As the phrase goes, it would do well to learn from our southern neighbor.

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