Why is liberalization important to investors?

20 October 2015

As the original texts are written in Turkish, English translation is provided for non-Turkish readers. The author apologizes in advance for any and all possible changes and losses in meaning due to translation.

I know that the country’s agenda is filled with sad incidents. Unfortunately, we watch all that’s happening with a heavy heart. Yet I cling to the hope that our country will once again overcome these hard times and in the name of long-term thinking, I would like to point out an important issue: Why is liberalization important to investors in a country that wishes to continue consistent growth?

We are all aware of our need for energy as a growing and developing country. Those who follow me on various platforms would know that I always advocate the idea of benefiting from a wide range and a balanced portfolio of energy sources. And now, due to certain issues, I need to focus especially on one pillar of this portfolio: Natural gas industry.

First of all, let’s remember what makes natural gas combined cycle plants so important in the diversity of energy sources: These plants can rapidly replace renewable power plants when energy demand is high or renewable plants cannot generate electricity due to seasonal reasons; can perform secondary frequency controls; and most importantly, are accepted as a clean energy source. Therefore, they should have a strong place in the energy network our country needs.

However, natural gas and electricity industries have recently been discussing some problems. In almost all meetings with our customers and various stakeholders of the industry, especially the problems in natural gas power plants are mentioned. The media often covers the news that due to the troubles experienced by investors, installed natural gas power plants are disassembled and taken abroad. This is a serious loss for our country and future in a time when we try to make Turkey an attractive environment for investments.

We agree with the industry’s prominent figures that liberalization should be rapidly completed and that this bottleneck in the electricity and gas industry can be overcome with the Azeri gas to be transferred to our country via an international pipeline project like Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP). When the bottleneck is overcome, we will have more local and foreign investments in Turkey. Thus, employment will increase, and it will be easier for us to secure our growth performance. It is vital that we, as a country, keep this as an important part of our agenda.

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