Minister of Economy and Energy Sunat Atun has said that the projects for transferring water and electricity from Turkey to the north of the island as well as natural gas explorations are “three important energy projects of global character” and will significantly contribute to the economy of the country.
Addressing an economic conference at the International Final University (UFU), Atun said that in parallel to its contribution to the TRNC, the water from Turkey could also be shared with South Cyprus and the countries of the region. The cost of electricity from Turkey will reduce the energy prices in the TRNC, he said and at the same time it could reach other countries of the region via networks through the TRNC.
Referring to natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean, Atun said that explorations in the Famagusta Gulf will start, adding that the resources that might be found in that area, will be transferred to the Ceyhan pipeline in southeastern Turkey.
The natural gas discovered by Israel during the explorations it had carried out alone and with South Cyprus is in commercially viable quantities, but only if it is transferred through the Ceyhan pipeline, then it could be purchased by the EU. “This means that the most practical, the most feasible way is to connect to our pipeline or to use our route”, he noted. This will make the TRNC an important energy hub in the region.
Referring to the economy, Atun said that the habit of borrowing money in foreign currency continues in the TRNC and described this “a risk for the economy”. He noted that they are working to find a solution to this issue and added that raw materials and end products produced in Turkey will be imported to the TRNC and paid for in Turkish lira. He said that during a meeting with the Turkish energy minister they demanded that raw materials and intermediate products produced in Turkey be sold to the TRNC in Turkish lira, just like they are sold to Turkey’s internal market.
Referring to the budget, Atun said that there will be a surplus of 240 million Turkish lira (TL) in 2018 adding that 80 million TL will come from internal resources and 160 million TL from Turkey’s aid.