ECONOMY

Turkish power tenders

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey is trying to prepare tenders for the privatization of its electricity distribution companies this month, the country’s Energy Minster Hilmi Guler said yesterday. Turkey had agreed with the World Bank on a strategy to liberalize its power market through the sale of the distribution grids and switch to a system of regional tariffs to better reflect the true costs of producing electricity. The timetable had slipped due to bureaucratic delays and a parliamentary commission’s examination of the bill, but the Privatization Administration (OIB) has intensified its work on the issue. «They (the OIB) told me they will accelerate this and try and complete it this month. Hence these privatizations will be carried out rapidly,» Guler told reporters at a conference in Istanbul. Separately, Guler said Turkey would begin exports of natural gas to Greece from the end of December with an initial volume of 750 million cubic meters. He didn’t specify a period for this volume. He said the volume would subsequently increase to 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) and including exports to Italy the volume would eventually reach 12 bcm. Greece and Turkey agreed in 2004 to build the $300 million, 285-kilometer gas pipeline as part of ambitious plans to transport gas from the Caspian Sea and the Middle East to energy-hungry Europe.