October 9, 2007 / 12:21 PM / 10 years ago

INTERVIEW-Turkerler Group seeks partner for Turkish port

ISTANBUL, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The Turkerler Group, which submitted the highest bid for operating rights of Derince Port last month, is meeting foreign companies to discuss investment and helping to operate the port, its chairman said on Tuesday.

Kazim Turkerler told Reuters in an interview he estimates the company will spend $100-110 million on increasing the container capacity of the port to 600,000 per year.

"Talks with foreign firms are continuing regarding a partnership. We will find an operating partner," he said, adding that the partner could also be an investor in the capacity boost.

Turkerler submitted a bid of $195 million in a tender for the operating rights of Derince Port, and Turkerler said he expects the tender process to be completed by the end of this year.

Port revenues will reach $100 million after the investment, Turkerler said.

Separately, Turkerler Group could offer its cement company in an initial public offering.

The conglomerate will also bid in port operation privatisation tenders in Samsun, Iskenderun and Bandirma, as well as an Ankara gas distribution privatisation, Turkerler said.

The group will apply to Turkey's energy regulatory board next week for the construction of an import coal power plant as well as submitting an application for a wind powered electricity plant on Nov. 1.

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