Afşin-Elbistan power complex

From Global Energy Monitor

Afşin-Elbistan power complex consists of two existing coal-fired power plants in Kahramanmaraş province, Turkey — Afşin-Elbistan A and Afşin-Elbistan B — totaling 2,978 megawatts (MW). Afşin-Elbistan power complex is supplied by the local Afşin-Elbistan lignite mines. The four-unit Afşin-Elbistan A and four-unit Afşin-Elbistan B run on lignite coal from the adjacent Kışlaköy coal mine.[1]


The undated satellite photo below shows the power complex, which is near Çoğulhan municipality, Afşin district, Kahramanmaraş province.

Afşin-Elbistan A can be seen on the right and Afşin-Elbistan B on the left. While the two plants are entirely within Afşin district, the Afşin-Elbistan coal field (one of its mines can be seen to the east of Afşin-Elbistan A) bridges Afşin and Elbistan districts (hence the name).

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Background on Plants

Afşin-Elbistan A was built and originally owned by Elektrik Üretim (EÜAŞ), the state-controlled power agency.[2] The plant was later privatised and in November 2018 its operation licence was transferred to Çelikler Holding.[3] Afşin-Elbistan B was built and is still owned by Elektrik Üretim (EÜAŞ),[4] but may also be privatised.[5] Afşin-Elbistan A was brought online in 1984-87, and Afşin-Elbistan B in 2005-2006.[6]

Afşin-Elbistan A

In November 2012, EÜAŞ contracted Alstom Power to refurbish Afşin-Elbistan A.[7] In May 2015, it was privatised and bought by ERG Verbund[8] which planned to refurbish the plant.[9] In June 2018, ERG Verbund's name was changed to Afşin Elbistan Elektrik Üretim ve Ticaret company.[3] With the legal status of ERG Verbund's operating rights in question, the plant stopped operations for refurbishment in March 2017.[10] However Çelikler Holding bought all shares of[11] Afşin Elbistan Elektrik Üretim ve Ticaret company (previously ERG Verbund) and ownership was transferred to Çelikler Holding in November 2018.[3] In November 2019 the production licence was also transferred to Çelikler Holding for a period of 20 years.[12]. The plant still operates despite the low capacity.[13] The plant's four units generate a total of 1,355 MW: Unit 1-3: 3 x 340 MW; Unit 4: 335 MW.[14]

Environmental impact

In February 2019 the Right to Clean Air Platform-Turkey, a coalition of 17 professional organizations and NGOs, successfully campaigned to stop the Turkish Parliament from delaying proper air pollution filtration system and infrastructure requirements for old privatised coal plants until 2021, including ÇATES.[15] The delay would have allowed ÇATES to continue to operate without a modern dust, desulphurization and denitrification system.[16] [17] In November 2019 the Turkish Parliament approved the bill.[18] However on Dec. 2, 2019 President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vetoed the bill and said this veto was motivated by "environmental sensitivity".[19]

As a result, Afşin-Elbistan and other privatised coal power plants that have not completed the required infrastructure including filtration system must complete these requirements beginning Jan. 1, 2020 or these plants will face closure and/or fines.[20]

In January 2020 Afşin-Elbistan A was one of five plants closed by the government under Environmental Law 2872 for failing to install a more effective air filtration system. The other closed plants were Kütahya Seyitömer, Kütahya Tunçbilek, Sivas Kangal and Zonguldak Çatalağzı.[21] In June 2020 two of the plant's four units were declared in compliance with the new filter requirement and were cleared to resume operating with a one-year temporary license.[22] In November 2020 it was reported that 100% of a new dry flue gas filter system and 65% of a new west gas flue system had been installed, and that installation of the latter would be complete in Q1 2021.[23]

Afşin-Elbistan B

In 2017 the plants four units were retrofitted to increase their capacities to 391 MW for Unit 1, 391 MW for Unit 2, 391 MW for Unit 3, and 391 MW for Unit 4.[24] In January 2020 Afşin-Elbistan B received a "temporary activity certificate" that will allow it to continue operating for six months despite its failure to comply with filtration requirements under Environmental Law 2872.[25] In May 2020 Greenpeace applied to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization to shut down Afşin-Elbistan B and eight other plants not in compliance with Environmental Law 2872 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the correlation between fine particulate pollution and higher mortality rates from Covid-19.[26][27] The plant's four units generate 1,440 MW: 4 x 360 MW.[28]

Water intake

In March 2017 the power complex stopped drawing water from the Ceyhan River for 2 months whilst the state water board investigated complaints of low water levels, which may have exacerbated the pollution in the river.[29]

Afşin-Elbistan C and D

In September 2008 Turkey's electricity production corporation EUAS cancelled a tender for Afsin Elbistan C and D units, each proposed to be 1,200 megawatts (MW).[30]

In January 2013, the UAE's state power company Abu Dhabi National Energy (TAQA) signed an agreement with EÜAŞ to build US$12 billion worth of coal mines and coal-fired power plants in the Afşin-Elbistan region — a project with a combined power generation capacity of up to 7,000 new MW. As part of the deal, TAQA would acquire and expand Afşin-Elbistan B, and do a feasibility study for a planned 1,440 MW Plant C and associated mine. It was also reported that over time Taqa would "develop several new power plants and associated mines" in sectors D, E and G, presumably building a plant in each of these sectors.[31] For these additional projects, "necessary infrastructure services [would have] to be made by the public [sector]. Two towns [would have] to be relocated. River-beds should be changed; water dams are to be constructed, high voltage transmission lines are to be installed."[32]

In August 2013, TAQA postponed its $8 billion share of financing until 2014, citing uncertainty.[33] Industry officials cited difficult financing conditions amidst a currency sell-off as the main reason for the delay (while others speculated that Prime Minister Erdogan's criticism of the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, which UAE had supported, may have had something to do with it).[34]

In December 2013, after Erdogan met with Qatari Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, Qatar stated that the country may be interested in investing in the project. China and South Korea have apparently also expressed interest.[34] As of February 2014, Saudi company ACWA Power and Thai company Singa Energy were also expressing interest in investment, for an expected total of $20 billion.[35]

In April 2014 Daily Sabah reported that Mitsui had undertaken a feasibility study into the construction of two additional units - C and D - at the plant.[36] In February 2015 it was reported that a consortium of Mitsubishi Corporation, Marubeni and Chubu Electric Power in Japan and Qatar Holding and Nebras Power from Qatar signed an agreement with the Turkish government to study projects in the Afşin-Elbistan region, including the development, operation and maintenance of lignite power plants. No agreements had yet been reached.[37]

As of December 2020 Afsin-Elbistan-D no longer appears on EMRA's website and has been cancelled.[38]

Funding for Afşin-Elbistan C

Citigroup and Verus Partners are acting as financial advisers for the project.[39]

Permitting for Afşin-Elbistan C

The EIA process for an Afşin-Elbistan C plant with 1,800 MW capacity began in September 2018,[40] and received positive opinion in April 2019.[41] The EIA report was cancelled after the evaluation meeting in Ankara on 24th October 2019 where Afşin Municipality gave an adverse opinion due to heavy pollution caused by A and B plants,[42] environmental groups also opposed the plant on health and air pollution grounds.[43]

On 25th December 2019, an urgent expropriation for the plant was announced by presidential directive.[44] In March 2020 it was reported that the plant had received a positive EIA decision and that it would consist of 3 x 600 MW units.[45]

Afşin-Elbistan E and G

Afsin Elbistan E and Afsin Elbistan G are each estimated to have 1,400 MW capacity.[46] In October 2020 EÜAŞ began rerouting a canal in the vicinity of the proposed site of Afşin-Elbistan E as a preliminary step toward preparing the site for construction.[47]

As of December 2020 Afsin-Elbistan-E and Afsin-Elbistan-E no longer appear on EMRA's website and has been cancelled.[48]

Project Details for Afşin-Elbistan C expansion

  • Sponsor: Elektrik Üretim A.Ş. (EÜAŞ)
  • Parent company: Çelikler Holding
  • Location: Çoğulhan municipality, Afşin district, Kahramanmaraş province, Turkey
  • Coordinates: 38.350818, 37.00706 (approximate)
  • Status: Pre-permit development
  • Detailed status:
  • Gross capacity: 3 x 600 MW
  • Type:
  • Projected in service: Unit 1: 2024; Unit 2: 2024; Unit 3: 2025[49]
  • Coal type: Lignite
  • Coal source: Afşin-Elbistan lignite mines, Turkey
  • Source of financing:
  • WRI ID: WRI1018701
  • EBC ID: TR-9 and TR-10

Articles and resources


  1. Afşin-Elbistan Coal Power Plants, Önder Algedik, Dec. 2015.
  2. Enerji Atlası, accessed May 20, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Çelikler Holding Afşin-Elbistan A Termik Santralinin üretim lisansını devraldı", Enerji IQ, 13 Jan. 2019.
  4. EÜAŞ Thermal Power Plants, Elektrik Üretim website, accessed Mar. 2014.
  5. "Bakan Albayrak devir için ilk kez konuştu", Elbistanın Sesi, 21 April 2016
  6. Afsin Elbistan-A Coal Power Plant Turkey, Global Energy Observatory, accessed Mar. 2014.
  7. "Alstom to Service and Maintain Afşin-Elbistan A Thermal Power Plant in Turkey", Alstom Power press release, Nov. 20, 2012.
  8. "Afşin-Elbistan A Termik devredildi Kaynak: Afşin-Elbistan A Termik devredildi" Enerji Günlüğü, May 11, 2015.
  9. Afşin - Elbistan Thermal Power Plant, ERG Construction website, accessed May 21, 2018.
  10. Afşin-Elbistan A Termik Santrali, 5 yıl elektrik üretemeyecek, Enerji Enstitüsü, June 19, 2017.
  11. "Avusturyalılar çekiliyor, Afşin A Santrali'ni Çelikler alıyor", Dünya, 5 April 2018.
  12. EMRA Licence website, accessed Nov. 2019
  13. EXIST Transparency Platform, accessed 9 December 2019
  14. Communication with CAN Europe
  15. Step forward for health protection in Turkey: Proposal to extend the pollution exemptions given to privatised coal power plants withdrawn, Health And Environment Alliance, Feb. 15, 2019
  16. Communication with HEAL, December 2019
  17. Turkish Parliament will vote about polluting coal power plants next week, Health And Environment Alliance, Feb. 1, 2019.
  18. 50’inci madde kabul edildi, Yeşil Ekonomi, 22 Nov. 2019
  19. Erdoğan Vetoes Bill Postponing Installation of Filters to Coal-Fired Plants, Bianet, 02 December 2019.
  20. TBMM Plan Ve Bütçe Komisyonu, Santrallere Filtre Düzenlemesini Yeniden Görüştü, Meclis Haber, 4 December 2019.
  21. 5 thermal power plants that did not install filters and did not take flue gas treatment measures were completely closed, BBC, Jan. 2, 2020
  22. Son dakika... Bakan Kurum'dan termik santral açıklaması, Hurriyet, Jun. 8, 2020
  23. Afşin Elbistan A Santrali'nde çevre sistemleri, uluslararası standartlara sahip, Haberler, Nov. 12, 2020
  24. [Communication with CAN Europe, March 2020]
  25. Anasayfa Gündem Haberleri Bakan Kurum'dan Bursa'yı da ilgilendiren termik santral açıklaması, Bursa Hakimiyet, Jan. 1, 2020
  26. Koronavirüs döneminde filtresiz termik santraller kapatılmalı, Cumhuriyet, May 22, 2020
  27. Isabelle Garretsen, How air pollution exacerbates Covid-19 BBC, Apr. 27, 2020
  28. Communication with CAN Europe
  29. "Afşin Elbistan A ve B termik santrallerine su yasağı", Sivil ve Ekolojik Haklar Derneği, Mar. 6, 2017
  30. Turkey to cancel power plant tender -EUAS, Reuters, Sep 9, 2008
  31. Haseeb Haider, "Taqa signs $12b Turkey deal," Khaleej Times, January 4, 2013.
  32. Haluk Direskeneli, "The Real Crazy Project: Afsin Elbistan", Turkish Weekly, June 3, 2011.
  33. "A Win with a big 'W'", Sep 3, 2013.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Turkey Says Qatar Interested In Afsin-Elbistan Power Project, Gulf Business, Dec. 5, 2013.
  35. Turkey Expected to Sign $20 billion Energy Investment Deal Soon, Daily Sabah, Feb. 25, 2014.
  36. "Japanese Co. to build coal-fired plants in Turkey, Daily Sabah, April 5, 2014.
  37. "UPDATE 1-Qatar-Japan consortium to study projects in Turkey's Afsin Elbistan," Reuters, Feb 22, 2015
  38. Communication with CAN Europe, January 2021
  39. "Preview of Afsin-Elbistan C Power Station PPP (1440MW) | Transaction | IJGlobal". Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  40. EIA process for Thermal Power Plant started, Elbistanın Sesi, Sep. 6, 2018
  41. KAHRAMANMARAŞ ili AFSIN, ELBISTAN ilcesi ÇED OLUMLU, Ministry of Environment and Urbanism, April 25, 2019.
  42. Press Meeting of Afşin Municipality, 24 October 2019
  43. Afşin’de Kömürlü Termik Santrallerin Bedeli, Greenpeace, March 12, 2019.
  44. Afşin C Termik Santralı İçin Acele Kamulaştırma Çıktı, Yeşil Afşin, Dec. 25, 2019.
  45. Bölge halkından C Termik Santrali’ne karşı binlerce dilekçe, Elbistaninsesi, Mar. 6, 2020
  46. "Turkey’s coal-fired visions," Lexology
  47. 11 kilometrelik dev kanalın yapımına başlandı, Elbistaninsesi, Oct. 24, 2020
  48. Communication with CAN Europe, January 2021
  49. Çevre ve Şehircilik Bakanlığı Afşin'e üçüncü termik santrale onay verdi, Evrensel, Mar. 31, 2020

Related articles

External resources

Wikipedia also has an article on Afşin-Elbistan_B_Termik_Santrali (Afşin-Elbistan_B_Termik_Santrali). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].