Tunçbilek power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Tunçbilek power station[1] is a 365-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Kütahya province, Turkey.


The undated satellite photo below shows the plant, which is near Tunçbilek town, Tavşanlı district, Kütahya province.

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Background on Plant

The first units of the Tunçbilek Kütahya coal-fired power station were built in 1956 to 1978. Beginning in 2007, only Units 4 and 5, totaling 300 MW capacity, were functioning. Starting in February 2013, the plant was at 365 MW, after Unit 3 was restored to partial capacity.[2] It is doubtful whether units 1 and 2 could be brought back into operation.[3]

Environmental impact

Smoke From Tunçbilek Thermal Power Plant[4]

In February 2019 the Right to Clean Air Platform, a coalition of 17 professional organizations and NGOs, successfully campaigned to stop the Turkish Parliament from delaying stronger air pollution requirements for some old coal plants from 2019 until 2021.[5] The delay would have allowed Tunçbilek Çelikler to continue to operate without a desulphurization system or modernised dust filters.[6] In November 2019 the Turkish Parliament approved a bill to extend the deadline for stronger emissions standards to 2021.[7] 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".[8]

As a result, Tunçbilek Çelikler 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.[9] In January 2020 Tunçbilek Çelikler 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 Afşin-Elbistan A, Kütahya Seyitömer, Sivas Kangal and Zonguldak Çatalağzı.[10] In May 2020 the plant installed a flue gas treatment system that it claimed was in compliance with Environmental Law 2872, and applied to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization for permission to reopen.[11] In June 2020 two of the plant's three units were declared in compliance with the new filter requirement and were cleared to resume operating with a one-year temporary license.[12]

In 2022, the company announced that the implementation of new flue gas treatment and filtration systems had been completed. In the same statement, Çelikler Holding noted the environmental impact of the plant and their intention to remain in operation "uninterruptedly".[13]

In November 2022, an explosion occurred at the power station during a controlled ash removal process. No injuries were reported, but workers were close enough to catch the event on video.[14]

Plant Details

  • Sponsor: Çelikler Orhaneli Tunçbilek Elektrik Üretim
  • Parent company: Çelikler Holding
  • Location: Tunçbilek town, Tavşanlı district, Kütahya province, Turkey
  • Coordinates: 39.6284598, 29.4658009 (exact)
  • Status: Unit 1: Mothballed; Units 2-3: Operating
  • Gross capacity: Unit 1: 65 MW; Unit 2: 150 MW; Unit 3: 150 MW
  • Type:
  • In service: Unit 4: 1965; Unit 5: 1977; Unit 6: 1978
  • Coal type: Lignite
  • Coal source: Tunçbilek Kütahya coal mine, Turkey
  • WRI ID: WRI1018715
  • EBC ID: TR-21

Proposed expansion

There are several mentions in the news media about additional capacity expansions, which are supposed to bring the area's coal-fired capacity to roughly 1,000 MW in total. Part of this is apparently the Kütahya Domaniç power station, but it seems that another 300 MW of additional capacity will be added to the new Polat Tunçbilek power station. It is possible, however, that this is referring to an additional 300 MW that will be added to the Tunçbilek Kütahya plant.[15][16]

An August 2014 article suggests the aging power station may be replaced by a new 600 MW coal plant.[17]

In December 2014 Turkish construction and energy company, Çelikler Holding, won a tender for the privatization of the Tunçbilek Kütahya and Orhaneli power stations for US$521 million. There was no mention in the news on expanding or replacing the Tunçbilek Kütahya plant.[18]

With no developments on this proposed unit, plans for it appear to be abandoned.

Plant Details for 300 MW expansion

  • Sponsor: Çelikler Orhaneli Tunçbilek Elektrik Üretim
  • Parent company: Çelikler Holding
  • Location: Tunçbilek town, Tavşanlı district, Kütahya province, Turkey
  • Coordinates: 39.6284598, 29.4658009 (exact)
  • Status: Cancelled
  • Gross capacity: 300 MW
  • Type:
  • Coal type: Lignite
  • Coal source: Tunçbilek Kütahya coal mine, Turkey

Articles and resources


  1. Çelikler Tunçbilek Termik Santrali, company website, accessed May 2018
  2. Tunçbilek Termik Santrali'ndeki 3. Ünite Tekrar Devrede, Haberler, Feb. 5, 2013.
  3. Turkey: Need To Clarify Actual Installed Energy Power – OpEd, Eurasia Review, 6 April 2018
  4. Çelikler Tunçbilek Termik Santralinin bacalarından zehir tütüyor, iSCi Haber, Apr. 27, 2019
  5. 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
  6. Turkish Parliament will vote about polluting coal power plants next week, Health And Environment Alliance, Feb. 1, 2019
  7. 50’inci madde kabul edildi, Yeşil Ekonomi, 22 Nov. 2019
  8. Erdoğan Vetoes Bill Postponing Installation of Filters to Coal-Fired Plants, Bianet, 02 December 2019.
  9. TBMM Plan Ve Bütçe Komisyonu, Santrallere Filtre Düzenlemesini Yeniden Görüştü, Meclis Haber, 4 December 2019.
  10. 5 thermal power plants that did not install filters and did not take flue gas treatment measures were completely closed, BBC, Jan. 2, 2020
  11. Bacalar milli ekonomi için temiz tütmeye hazır, Sabah, May 18, 2020
  12. Son dakika... Bakan Kurum'dan termik santral açıklaması, Hurriyet, Jun. 8, 2020
  13. Seyitömer ve Tunçbilek termik santrallerinde çevre yatırımları tamamlandı, Sirket Haberleri, February 24, 2022
  14. Termik santralde patlama anı kamerada!, Kutahyadan Haber, November 5, 2022
  15. Yüksek Kalorili Linyit Kömürü, Elektrik Enerjisine Dönüştürülecek, Kutahyaninsesi, June 25, 2013.
  16. Köşe Yazısı: Tunçbilek ve Domaniç, Enerji Enstitüsü, Feb. 19, 2013.
  17. "Tunçbilek santrali alınır mı?" Enerji Gunlugu, Aug 6, 2014
  18. "Celikler Holding: An active player in Turkey’s energy sector," Maritime, Dec 23, 2014

Related GEM.wiki articles

External resources