Four large thermal power plants have been included in the latest schedule of asset sales issued by the Privatisation Administration (OIB). To be sold within 18 months, they have a combined output of 3,240 MW, and an estimated combined value of $1,470 million.

Three of the plants are fuelled by lignite (brown coal). They are Yenikoy (420 MW – estimated cost $210 million); Kemerkoy (630 MW – estimated cost $315 million); and Soma-B (990 MW – estimated cost $495 million). The fourth is the Hamitabad combined-cycle plant in Thrace, fuelled by natural gas (1,200 MW – $450 million).

The OIB is hoping that it can sell the plants outright, under a law for the privatisation of the electricity sector, as commercial contracts. This is because they are not defined as variants of the build-operate- transfer (BOT) model, say officials. The model has run into difficulties in the constitutional court over the question of whether BOT projects represent concessions or commercial contracts. Concession status for foreign investors would block access to foreign arbitration in the case of contractual dispute.