ECONOMY

New Turk sell-off strategy

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey may change its privatization strategy to sell off both its electricity distribution grids and power generation plants at the same time, government officials told Reuters yesterday. The government may decide to accept bids in the two sell-offs until the last quarter of this year, the officials said. The original strategy, outlined in agreement with the World Bank, stated Turkey’s electricity grids would be privatized, followed by its power plants. Turkey’s fast-rising energy consumption and market liberalization have interested investors, including Austria’s Verbund and Germany’s E.ON and RWE. The country has faced energy shortages and the government is encouraging large energy investments by the private sector to avoid a possible shortfall in supply next year. Turkey’s Zorlu Enerji won a tender, among 26 other bidders, earlier in the month for nine power-generation facilities belonging to Ankara Dogal Elektrik Uretim, with a bid of $510 million. Turkey postponed the sale of 20 electricity grids ahead of elections last year.