STATEMENT BY YK ENERJİ
Since 1987, YK Enerji has worked to maximise local resources which can help meet Turkey’s energy demand and make a contribution to both the economy and people’s welfare. Our mining activities for the purpose of electricity generation are conducted in line with global standards and fall within the framework of the company’s sustainability vision.
We wish to directly address some of the false accusations which have been levelled against our organisation by recent press coverage, social media posts and statements from some civil society organisations.
The Power Plants and Their Importance to National and Local Economies
The Yeniköy and Kemerköy Thermal Power Plants are of strategic importance to the Turkish Republic. With a total installed capacity of 1,095 MW, they sit among the largest energy investments in the country’s history. The Plants generate electricity with local resources that meets approximately 2.5% of national electricity demand and 15% of locally sourced electricity generation. This includes meeting approximately 62% of the electricity used off the Turkish coast of the South Aegean Sea, which is a critical asset for the country’s tourism industry.
To further enhance performance and reduce emissions, we are overseeing the country’s and only investments in flue gas treatment systems. This project will increase capacity in line with EU standards, at a total cost of EUR 280 million.
The power plants are also one of the largest employers in the region. Of its 3,100 employees, the majority are from local communities. The plant’s status as a critical employer means it helps to both directly and indirectly provide for a wider community of up to 15,000 people with their families.
By using domestic lignite resources, the power plants have also prevented the import of 1.3 billion m3 of natural gas for energy generation in 2022 alone. This amounts to a USD 1 billion net contribution to the closure of the current account deficit and a wider contribution to national energy strategy.
The Akbelen Forest
The General Directorate of Forestry regularly assesses the economic potential of forests and declares regions as plantations with economic function. The Akbelen Forest, which is 93% industrial plantation, and 7% non-wood forest product, falls under this designation.
As can be seen in the 1964 aerial maps included in the forest's technical studies, Akbelen is mostly forest and does not have a feature that connects the ecosystem. It constitutes 0.29 percent of the forest areas of the Kayadere and Karacahisar forest sub-district and is not designated as, or adjacent to, a national park, natural park, protection forest, conservation forest or gene protection forest. After an examination by three different commissions of experts in various lawsuits, no judicial obstacles were found.
In Response to Calls for the Plants to be Replaced with Renewable Energy
We would like to point out that a full substitution with renewable energy sources is not practically achievable. Both we as YK Enerji and our shareholders have important investments in the field of renewable energy in our country.
YK Enerji’s Plans for Rehabilitation and Reintegration of the Local Ecosystem
As with many examples globally, as well as in our country, after the underground resources have been brought into production, re-integration to the ecosystem by rehabilitation has been a priority for us. To that end, since 1992, over 415,000 trees have been planted in the mining areas where operations have been completed.
With the "Volunteer Afforestation Cooperation" protocol signed between our company and the General Directorate of Forestry in 2020, 3 million saplings were planted countrywide. This corresponds to an area the size of 2000 football fields. Our target is to increase this number to 5 million by the end of 2025.
Since the day we were founded, our company has been working 24/7 to maintain uninterrupted electricity production, a public service which is vital for our country. All YK Enerji employees, shareholders, and stakeholders have the highest level of environmental conscious and sensitivity. In collaboration with our thousands of employees, we will continue to work with this same consciousness in future endeavours.