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COUNTRY REPORTTURKEY


transhipping cargo to the Caspian area, for example,” said Eldener. Transit formalities can take time – but the ministry of trade is working on resolving the issues, he added. Vanessa Medini, board member at


Medden Shipping and Trading, also drew attention to Turkey’s unstable political and economic environment, which had a negative impact on both local and international investors during 2018. “The extreme increase in the exchange


rates made life difficult for companies that do business in US dollars and euros, especially importers that buy in these currencies and sell in Turkish lira. They lost a lot of money and found themselves in huge debt. There were many companies that announced bankruptcy and some which are currently going through restructuring.


There are other ongoing infrastructure projects such as high-speed train and metro lines.” However, Eldener said that the second


half of 2018 was particularly sluggish. This was due to unfavourable exchange rates and slower economic activity overall. As a result, investments have been delayed. Meanwhile, there is the significant


challenge of political instability in Turkey’s bordering countries. The Turkish economy adjusted to the Syrian conflict and the border being closed, said Eldener. “But this situation completely blocked the road access to the Middle East, which is a major problem.” However, Turkey’s geographic location,


advanced road and port infrastructure, and readily available heavy transport fleet makes it an ideal transhipment hub for project cargoes. “Marmara seaports are heavily used for


Renewable energy “Turkey is not only a logistics hub acting as a bridge connecting the East and the West but it is also an ideal location for the installation of wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal power plants. However, what is crucial for these investments is a fast and efficient licensing procedure, which seems to be lacking currently and is causing investors to lose time, energy and, most importantly, motivation,” she said. A one stop shop, as suggested at the


We have been assigned to handle and deliver cargo for two [gold] mines, one located in the eastern region and the other one in Marmara region. – Vanessa Medini,


Medden Shipping and Trading


Turkish Wind Energy Association’s (TWEA) annual congress (Medden is a member of the association), could prove to be beneficial. It could increase the amount of investment in this area, as well as boosting the heavy lift and project cargo sector by generating some interesting cargo to handle and transport, she said. According to TWEA figures, wind power


plants installed in Turkey reached a capacity of 7.01 GW in July 2018. Erdil from Logistics Plus also pointed to the country’s wind energy market as a welcome source of


Turkey eyes offshore wind energy potential


Political and economic difficulties aside, some key players in Turkey’s project logistics sector are turning their attention to the potential of offshore wind energy. The industry has been a welcome source of project cargo in other regions, particularly in the North Sea, but has struggled to get off the ground in Turkey. Caner Aydin, president of Istanbul-headquartered


Bati Group, is optimistic that this market could soon come into the fold. “The future for Turkey will be wind power, and there is planning under way to establish some wind farms in the shallow bays.” He warned, however, that these projects will still


www.heavyliftpfi.com


take some time before they become reality. In June 2018, Turkey opened a tender for a


1,200 MW offshore wind plant project; Saros and Gallipoli located in the Marmara region and Kıyıköy in Thrace were the candidate regions for the project. But, since the close of the tender in October 2018,


there has been no sign of progress. The ambitious project, hailed as what could be the world’s largest offshore wind farm, appears to have fallen victim to the heightened risks of investing in Turkey, notably the lack of funds, loss of investor confidence and weakened lira.


Reports also suggested that companies were


hesitant to bid for the project, due to the requirements for locally produced parts and local personnel. Despite the project hitting a standstill, it is the


first sign that the country will be entering the offshore wind energy market and for Aydin, this sector will be more beneficial than its onshore counterpart. “OEMs [active in onshore wind energy] know the


local asset owners and are going to them directly. Offshore energy, however, is where we can really get involved with our expertise.”


January/February 2019 51


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