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Turkey's Hattat Holding is in talks with Chinese and South Korean firms to develop Amasra coal mines, setting a goal of a total of 3.5 billion euros in investments there.
The company holds a license to extract coal in Amasra province in the Black Sea region, and it plans to establish a coal-fired thermal power plant there with a 1,320-megawatt (MW) capacity.
"We are in talks with one Chinese and one South Korean firm. We negotiate with the Chinese one more frequently, but the South Korean firm is a giant one and they are very eager about the deal too. I think we will sign a deal by June," _pek Hattat, a board member of Hattat Holding, said.
She did not give the names of the companies, but she said the company would invest more than $1 billion in the power plant.
The investor company will select the engineering and construction firms that will take part in the power plant's construction. Hattat said the discussions with these firms were continuing.
"Up until today, we have invested $300 million of our own equity in Amasra, and this will reach around 3.5 billion euros during the establishment of the facilities," she said.
The company aims to begin the construction of the facility in 2013. She said Hattat would not wait to complete the power plant, which would take at least four years, but would begin extracting coal in the Amasra basin within 2.5 years.
Until their own power plant is completed, the company will sell the coal it produces to Eren Holding, which has a power plant dependent on imported coal in Zonguldak. They need to build a port in the region to transfer the coal, the board member said. "When our facility is completed, we will use the coal there, but we will consider giving the excess part to other plants. I'm sure this will reduce coal imports substantially."
In April of last year, Turkey's Hattat Holding and China Avic International Holding agreed to cooperate in engineering, purchasing and construction of a 1,320-MW thermic power plant to be built in the northern Turkish province of Bartn. The project costs are set at about $1.5 billion.
10 million tons coal
Under the agreement the two companies said they aimed to provide 5 million tons of coal from pits in Bartn's Amasra town, to be raised to 10 million tons in the future.
Hattat Group also had a contract with Chinese Datong Coal Mine Group in 2011 to explore for coal and methane in Amasra. Cooperating with Datong, the company has dug three giant pits reaching depths up to one kilometer.
Turkey imported $601 billion worth of energy in 2012, while $4.6 billion of it was coal, figures from the Economy Ministry and Turkish Statistical Institute suggest.
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