Turkey to buy power from Turkmenistan

Turkey`s energy minister has signed an agreement to buy 750 GWh of electricity per year from Turkmenistan starting in 2000. The import will help Turkey meet an expected shortfall in power supplies, particularly in the east and south-east of the country.

The agreement requires Turkey to construct a 100 MW transmission line in its eastern region to interconnect with a transmission line running from Turkmenistan through Iran.

The power imports will last for six years and will supplement the power Turkey already imports from Bulgaria, Georgia and Iran.

The economically backward regions in the east and south-east in particular suffer from high power losses due to poor transmission and theft. The country`s situation has been made worse by delays to a number of independent power projects (IPPs) scheduled to come on stream between 2001 and 2003.

• The $500m privatization of Turkey`s largest regional power distribution grid has been suspended by the Danistay, the country`s top administrative court, following accusations that one of the buyers had violated a broadcasting law.