Agreement has been reached for a financing package for the construction of a 480-MW, combined-cycle gas turbine power plant at Ereglisi on the Sea of Marmara. The package is valued at $620 million. The plant will be built by a venture called UNI-MAR on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.

About 25 per cent of the total investment cost will be met through equity contributions by the three partners in UNI-MAR, Belgium’s Unit International, Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and the UK’s National Power. The remaining cost will be met mainly by 12-year export credits from Japan, Belgium, the UK, Germany and Switzerland.

The credit portion has been arranged by Citibank and Banque Paribas. These, together with Natwest Markets, Generale de Banque, Fuji Bank and Sakura Bank, form the underwriting group. The local Vakiflar Bankasi will provide a domestic guarantee for the investment.

Construction of the plant will begin in December under a turnkey contract by Zurich-based ABB Asea Brown Boveri. The power plant is expected to come on stream in the winter of 1998/99. National Power will operate the plant for a period of about 20 years before handover to the state.

This is the second of two BOT plants planned at Ereglisi. Construction of the first, another 480-MW plant planned by a venture called Trakya Elektrik, including the US’ Enron Corporation, The Wing Group of the US, and the local Gama, began in October.

A third, gas-fired plant with a capacity of about 700 MW near Ereglisi is planned by the Energy & Natural Resources Ministry on a build-own-operate (BOO) basis. It is part of a $24,000 million energy infrastructure development programme to meet demand up to 2020 and beyond.