* Zorlu interested in power network privatisation tenders
* Company also mulls building base load plant
By Evrim Ergin
ISTANBUL, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Turkish energy company Zorlu Enerji is planning investments of some $1 billion in Turkey’s energy sector in the next two years and could issue stock or make a disposal to finance the plan, its general manager said.
Zorlu’s Sinan Ak also told reporters that the company, part of the energy-to-electronics Zorlu Group, was interested in bidding for the Gediz electricity distribution network which is about to be privatised by the government.
He said the company planned power investments amounting to 400 megawatts (MW), including a 175 MW geothermal project, the 110 MW Rotor II wind project in southern Turkey’s Osmaniye which will be launched in the second quarter of next year, and a 124 MW hydroelectric project in Dalaman, southwest Turkey, planned for the second half of next year.
“When we have added these investments, the size of our total portfolio will rise to $3.5 billion,” Ak said.
He said the company would need to issue around $150 million in equity to realise these investments, or could sell its wind power unit Rotor Elektrik, though it had not yet made a decision.
Zorlu was also interested in building a “base load” power plant in Turkey to provide the minimum amount of power that a utility must make available to customers, which could be fired by coal or natural gas and whose output capacity would be between 400 to 600 MW.
Ak said the company was also interested in planned new privatisation tenders for power distribution networks in Turkey and it had sought pre-qualification for the Mediterranean region network.
“The time period is limited (for the Mediterranean tender) and I don’t know if we can prepare in time. But the Gediz region (of Izmir and Manisa in western Turkey) is more appropriate for us. We have power stations there,” he said. (Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Holmes)