Turkey to push through with $100B mega-projects following AK party victory

Published November 2nd, 2015 - 03:01 GMT


Turkey’s mega projects are expected to be completed without any further delay after the Justice and Development (AK) Party's victory in the national elections on Sunday. 

According to preliminary results based on 99.58 percent of votes counted, AK Party secured 49.41 percent votes -- higher than any of the predictions by opinion polls -- winning 317 of the 550 seats in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

Mega projects are largescale infrastructure, energy, and transportation projects. Erdal Tanas Karagol, director of Economics at the Ankara-based Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) says Turkey needs these projects to be finished as soon as possible in order to improve its rail, air and other transportation links.

"Our country can generate wealth through these projects," Karagol said. 

“Turkey is trying to position itself as an energy and trade hub for both the Middle East and Central Asia. The AK Party started these projects. Now that the AK Party will govern, they will be finished without further delay,” Karagol said.  

“Turkey can successfully attract foreign investment for mega projects now that the election result has ended the political uncertainty in the country,” Karagol added. 

Worth more than $100 billion, the projects include the North Marmara Highway, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Istanbul’s third airport, Canal Istanbul - the creation of an artificial waterway in the province -- a long-range missile defense system, the Eurasia Tunnel  and Istanbul Financial Center

Nuclear power plant projects

Turkey's first nuclear plant, Akkuyu, will be built in the country's southern province of Mersin on the Mediterranean coast. 

The Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom will build and operate the plant, which will have a life cycle of 60 years and will cost around $22 billion, as latest technologies and safety features will be utilized in the plant. 

The project is expected to produce about 35 billion kilowatt-hours per year, and the planned four reactors of the plant are scheduled to become fully operational in 2023 -- the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. 

Looking to diversify its sources of energy and reduce dependence on imports, Turkey plans to have three operational nuclear power plants by 2023. A French-Japanese consortium will build the country’s second nuclear power plant in Sinop on the country’s Black Sea coast. 

Turkey's third nuclear plant in the country’s northwestern region of Igneada is at its planning stage. 

Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Project (TANAP) 

Turkey's TANAP project will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan's energy-rich Shah Deniz II field via Turkey to Europe. The pipeline will run from Azerbaijan to Georgia and Turkey. It will later connect to Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Greece to carry the gas further into Europe. 

Expected to cost $10-$12 billion, TANAP will be an integral part of the larger strategic Southern Gas Corridor to ensure gas supply of Europe for decades to come.  

While TANAP is planned to become operational in 2018 with an initial capacity of 16 billion cubic meters, this amount is projected to reach 23 billion cubic meters by 2023 and 31 billion cubic meters by 2026. 

Northern Marmara Motorway and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge

The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will become the third bridge to span the Bosphorus strait, adding yet another link between Europe and Asia. Eight lanes of motorway and two lanes of railway will be located at the same level on the 3rd Bosphorus Bridge, which will be a product of professional engineering and advanced technology built by a team, most of whom are Turkish engineers. It will be among the most important bridges of the world with its aesthetic and technical features.

The Northern Marmara Motorway and the 3rd Bosphorus Bridge have an investment value of 4.5 billion Turkish lira ( $1.6 billion) 

Istanbul’s third airport

Istanbul’s third airport, with 160 million annual passenger capacity, is under construction in the Arnavutkoy district of Istanbul.  The airport  was tendered to the Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, in 2013.

Canal Istanbul

Canal Istanbul is an artificial sea-level waterway that will be built parallel to the Bosphorus and will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The canal will provide relief to shipping traffic, particularly oil tanker traffic, passing through the Bosphorus. The canal has a designed capacity of 160 vessels a day and is scheduled to be completed by 2023 at a cost of $15 billion. 

Istanbul Finance Center

The center is aimed at developing the conditions required for Istanbul to rank among the leading financial centers of the world. The $2.6 billion project is integral to Turkey’s plan to make its economy one of the world’s 10 largest.

The center, which is expected to be completed by 2018, will house the head offices of the country’s financial market governing bodies, state-owned and private banks, and related businesses. It will include 45 million square feet of office, residential, retail, conference, hotel and park space.

269 miles Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir motorway project

The 433 kilometer (269 miles) long Gebze-Orhangazi-Izmir motorway project, Turkey’s largest highway project to date, will allow drivers to cover the distance between Istanbul and Izmir in the Aegean province within three and a half hours compared with the current eight hour long trip.

The project is being built through a Public Private Partnership and is scheduled to end in 2018. It will begin from the Gebze town to the north of Izmit Bay, part of the Sea of Marmara, which is also part of the connecting waterway between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea.


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