State power companies in Turkey and the UAE have signed an agreement to invest in a $12 billion project to produce electricity in Turkey’s Afsin-Elbistan region, Turkey’s energy minister said.
The Afsin-Elbistan project will provide the region in Turkey’s south-east with 8,000 megawatts (MW) of power at full capacity, the companies said in a joint news conference. Initial operation is to start in 2018 and the full project be completed in 2021.
The agreement marks the start of exclusive negotiations between Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), Turkey’s Electricity Generation Co (EـAS ) and the Turkish government for the project with a combined power generation capacity of up to 7,000 MW. Taqa and EـAS have been selected as the government-related entities responsible for implementing the project.
The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a project company  in which Taqa and any future partners would retain the majority shareholding. In accordance with the agreement, the project company will acquire, modernise and expand the existing 1,400 MW Plant B and develop several new power plants and associated mines in sectors C, D, E and G of the Afsin-Elbistan region in southern Turkey.
Preparatory work on Plant B and the feasibility study for the planned 1,440 MW Plant C and associated mine development will start immediately.
Mohamed bin Dhaen Al Hamli, Minister of Energy of the UAE, said: “This agreement further strengthens the bond between Turkey and the UAE, adding an important commercial dimension to this strategic relationship.” The agreement follows the signing of a joint declaration between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Government of the Republic of Turkey.