Select Committee on Trade and Industry Ninth Report


V. SOME SECTORAL ISSUES

Energy

42. Turkey's energy consumption is growing at a rate that will soon outstrip provision. Imported energy currently accounts for 50% of consumption. Studies show that demand is set to treble. Plans to build a nuclear power station were a subject of international controversy; in July 2000 the Government announced that they were no longer willing to go ahead with the Akkuyu power station, although they will reconsider their decision over the next ten to twenty years.[20] Mr Ecevit said that "it is unnecessary for us, for the time being, to invest in nuclear energy". In February 2001 Turkey announced that twenty nine Build Operate Transfer (BOT) renewable electricity plant would be built. Most of these will be wind powered. Contracts for these will be open to international tendering. A law to liberalise energy markets was passed in February 2001.

43. The most prominent energy project is the Southeastern Anatolian Project (Güneydo_u Anadolu Projesi, (GAP)), involving the construction of a series of hydroelectric dams in Anatolia. During our stay in Turkey we visited Hasankeyf, Batman and Diyarbakir, and held several meetings in Ankara to discuss the proposed Ilisu Dam project, on which we first reported on in February 2000. We intend to report again on this issue in 2001 once the revised Environmental Impact Assessment Report and the Resettlement Action Plan are produced.

44. Turkey is finding it hard to supply electricity at the levels needed. Domestic energy production can only meet 48% of requirements. The problem is being addressed by both increased domestic generation and imported energy. Lignite production in Turkey is set to double. Turkey is not a member of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK has expertise in Clean Coal Technology (CCT). We see opportunities for UK investment and advice in the development of CCT in the Turkish coal sector and consider that technology transfer links would be valuable on both sides. We hope that the Government can help establish mutually beneficial industry links by monitoring the development of Clean Coal Technologies in Turkey.

Transport

45. Turkey's infrastructure is expanding. The Bosphorus tunnel, linking the two parts of Istanbul, has been tendered. A Japanese company has to be included in the consortium as they have given good credit opportunities to the Turkish. The Minister for Transport and Telecommunications told us that he would like to see a UK company involved and urged them to put themselves forward, both privately and through the government. The Ankara rail link project is the most high profile of the planned improvements. The government is looking for a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project and is in negotiations with international rail and banking authorities. Again, they are eager for UK interest. A draft bill on rail is set to privatise the industry; this presents opportunities for UK firms.

Tourism

46. The number of UK visitors to Turkey is growing, making tourism a prime factor in UK-Turkish trade. The estimated number of UK tourists to Turkey during 2000 is one million; a fivefold increase on 1990 figures. Far fewer Turkish tourists visit the UK. The largest tourist areas are Bodrum and the Marmara coast in the south, and Istanbul in the north west. Clearly there are areas of Turkey which currently are not open to tourists, or indeed to any international visitors. During our visit we heard of tourist opportunities which are yet to be opened to UK tourists, such as domestic ski resorts, as well as a wealth of archaeological sites being opened to a wider public. Turkey is a destination for UK tourists. We hope that BTI can build on the existing situation and be seen to identify opportunities which might arise from the tourist service industry.


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