In its first direct equity investment in Turkey’s power sector, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is acquiring a 20% stake in the renewable energy subsidiary of Akfen Holding, one of the leading infrastructure groups in the country. The USD 100 million (EUR 91.5 million) investment will provide a further boost to the national renewable energy sector, the bank said.
Akfen Yenilenebilir Enerji (Akfen Renewable Energy or AkfenRE) will own a portfolio of renewable projects, including operational hydro and solar power plants and several wind, solar and hydro projects under development, with a total operational capacity of 210 MW.
EBRD’s investment will help AkfenRE to almost triple the size of its renewable portfolio to over 500 MW of installed capacity and to become one of the largest producers of renewable energy in Turkey, the press release adds. The bank said that as a shareholder, it will nominate a member for the board and will help further advance the company’s corporate governance and competitiveness.
Nandita Parshad, EBRD’s head of power and energy utilities, said: “We are pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with Akfen to scale up the development of renewable sources of energy in Turkey. We already have a strong relationship with Akfen in a number of sectors and look forward to success as partners in the energy sector. Turkey has set itself ambitious targets. We will be part of the solution.”
Süha Güçsav, chief executive of Akfen Holding, added: “We are in the process of developing a balanced portfolio in the medium to long-term with sustainable generation in all segments of the energy sector. To achieve this goal we are planning to continue diversifying by investing in hydro, wind and solar projects. The shareholder agreement with the EBRD is one of the main steps for us in this process.”
Turkey is working to meet growing domestic demand for electricity and the country aims to add 34 GW of hydropower, 20 GW of wind energy, 5 GW of solar energy, 1 GW of biomass and 1 GW of geothermal to its energy mix by 2023. EBRD has invested almost EUR 2.8 billion in sustainable energy projects, including two of the country’s largest wind farms – Bares and Rotor – and the largest geothermal power plant in Turkey, which is also the second largest in Europe, Efeler GPP, the report said. EBRD is working with the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and has helped develop the first National Renewable Energy Action Plan to attract more investment in renewable energy projects. It is currently working on a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan to help the country’s industry become less energy intensive.