’15 Poison-Spilling Thermal Power Plants Should be Closed’

People from southern, western and northern provinces have applied to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, requesting the closure of a total of 15 power plants.

Complaining about the air pollution caused by 15 thermal power plants, locals from three provinces and Greenpeace Association formally requested the closure of the plants on the ground that the mandatory investments for the protection of the environment have not been made.

Fifteen state-owned thermal power plants were privatized in 2013 in the northern Zonguldak province, western Canakkale province and southern Maras province.

The companies that bought the companies have to complete the investments for the protection of the environment such as setting up chimney filters and chimney gas purification systems by the end of 2019.

However, the power plants continue to emit gases directly to the atmosphere, although less than two months left until the expiration of the given time.

Delay until 2022 is on parliamentary agenda

The extension of the time until the end of 2022 is also on the parliamentary agenda.

Greenpeace opposes the "allowance of polluting the air with a legislative regulation" and demands the closure of the power plants.

Two previous bills for a time extension for the companies were rejected by all the parties in the parliament.

Greenpeace Mediterranean revealed after a 24-hour measurement in July that air pollution in SeyitAlmer and Tuncbilek districts in Kutahya was three times higher than the World Health Organization's limit value.

Greenpeace lawyer Deniz Bayram said that 10 of the power plants were paid 559 million Turkish lira (~97 million US dollars) state incentives in 2018 and 665 million lira this year.

"It is decided that these plants will receive millions of liras of incentives in 2020 as well," Bayram said, noting that the plants are harmful both in terms of health and money.

The legislative process

When Law No. 6446 on Electricity Market entered into force in 2013, coal-powered plants were privatized upon Provisional Article 8 of the law. The companies that bought the plants were given time until the end of 2018 to complete the investments regarding the protection of the environment.

The Constitutional Court annulled the Provisional Article 8 in 2014, deciding that such a delay for environmental investments is against the Constitution.

A new amendment was made to the law in 2016 and the time given to the companies was extended until the end of 2019.

A bill for an extension of delay until 2021 was rejected by all the parties in the parliament.

The power plants

The law encompasses the following power plants:

Canakkale / CAN 18 Mart Thermal Power Plant

Sirnak / Silopi Thermal Power Plant

Kahramanmaras / Afsin Elbistan A Thermal Power Plant

Karabuk / Kardemir Thermal Power Plant

Kutahya / Tuncbilek Thermal Power Plant

Kutahya / SeyitAlmer Thermal Power Plant

Manisa / Soma A Thermal Power Plant

Manisa / Soma B Thermal Power Plant

Sivas / Kangal Thermal Power Plant (1. Ve 2. uniteler)

Zonguldak / Catalagzi Thermal Power Plant

Ankara / Cayirhan Thermal Power Plant

Mugla / YenikAly Thermal Power Plant

Mugla / KemerkAly Thermal Power Plant

Bursa / Orhaneli Thermal Power Plant

Kahramanmaras / Afsin Elbistan B Thermal Power Plant

Source: English Bianet