Sixteen contracts for the construction of power stations on a build-operate- transfer (BOT) basisare awaiting approval from the council of state, according to Energy Ministry officials. The council, the highest administrative court in Turkey, must approve the projects because of a ruling by the country’s constitutional court.

In total, the projects are valued at around $4,000 million, with a total output of 2,904 MW. They include eight large power stations to operate by hydro-electric and thermal sources. Projects include:

Hydro-electric: Birecik (672 MW); OF-Solaki (380 MW); Konaktepe (210 MW), and Dilek Guroluk (180 MW).

Thermal:Cankiri Orta (125 MW), Esenyurt (180 MW) and two plants of about 500 MW each at Ereglisi on the Sea of Marmara.

Earlier this year, the constitutional court ruled that BOT projects might be considered as concessions, which constitutionally are governed by the council of state. For concessions, the council is the final judge of contractual disputes, and closes avenues of appeal to international arbitration which foreign companies in BOT consortia would prefer to have.

This is one of many delays for BOT projects in Turkey since the government pioneered the private sector franchise method in the mid-1980s. Not one major scheme has come to fruition, despite the fact that other countries like Malaysia have long since implemented BOT projects.

Amongst the major projects, the DM 2,100 million ($2,879 million) Birecik dam on the Euphrates in the southeast and the first of two gas-fired plants at Ereglisi appear to be the most advanced. If approval is obtained from the council of state, the BOT ventures proposing each can finalise their financing.

The BOT venture for the Birecik dam is led by Germany’s Philipp Holzmann and the local Gama, and is being advised by the US’ Chase Manhattan Bank (MEED 29:4:94).The venture for the $520 million Ereglisi plant has two US sponsors, the Enron Corporation and Wing International, and includes the UK’s Midlands Generation and Gama. The group is being advised by the US’ Bankers Trust and Kidder Peabody of the UK (MEED 28:10:94).