Ankara unbending on finalizing electricity privatization by 2013

July 13, 2012, Friday/ 17:02:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The government has taken a decisive stance in favor of the full privatization of electricity production and of distribution grids -- tenders for two of these grids having been canceled on either buyers’ payment failures or by the Council of State -- in the country by the end of this year.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız has said the privatization process will be “healthier” this time. “Right at this point, there are responsibilities for both the public and private sector. The public sector is going to carry out the tender process in a transparent away. And the private sector will certainly live up to its financial commitments,” he said at a recent meeting in Ankara. “The [Prime Ministry’s] Privatization Administration is working to this end and we will open the bidding before this year ends,” the minister added.

There are 18 electricity distribution grids in Turkey. In successive tenders, Ankara managed to privatize half of those grids -- the Başkent, Meram, Sakarya, Osmangazi, Çoruh, Çamlıbel, Uludağ, Yeşilırmak and Fırat grids -- whereas tenders for two of them, Aras and Gediz, were canceled.

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