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Turkey may sell electricity to the South in the future

21 November 2013

There have been reports that Turkey intends to sell electricity to the South, “after a certain period of time“. An agreement between Turkey and Greece has been reached to investigate the feasibility of such a project and the thinking may be that the purchase of electricity from the North following the damage to the Vassilikos power station in the South by an explosion at the neighbouring Mari naval base, had set a precedent.

According to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’ (19/11/13),  a report submitted to the Turkish National Security Council (NSC), also states that it is noted that the project would be undertaken by Turkey’s Electricity Transfer Incorporated Company (TEIAS) on behalf of the North Cyprus Electricity Authority (KIB-TEK), that it would include the transfer of 200 megawatts of electricity with cables under the sea from Anamur, Mersin area, to Kyrenia and that TEIAS would invite international tenders as regards the production of the undersea cables. Together with Turkish firms, Italian, British and French firms were also expected to participate in the tenders.

The paper states that the purchase of energy by the South from the North following the destruction of the power plant at Vassiliko in July 2011, as a result of the explosion at the neighbouring Mari naval base, “encouraged the North” to investigate the issue of transferring energy from Turkey to the North. “The view that the South will not buy energy from the North”, has been dispelled, the paper writes.

The idea for the project arose within the scope of developing economic relations between Turkey and Greece. An agreement has been reached between Turkey and Greece on the issue of investigating the sale of electricity from Turkey to the TRNC and the government of South Cyprus.

Conversely, again according to ‘Havadis’, the TRNC’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Energy, Onder Sennaroglu has refuted the claims regarding the existence of a project for transferring electricity from Turkey to the TRNC using undersea pipelines. Noting that “such a project does not exist”, Sennaroglu pointed out that even if such a project is prepared, it would take three years to realise.

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