AIIB: $75m for Turkish grid

Satellite view of Turkey at night

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank focuses new finance on rehabilitating electricity distribution in western Turkey. 

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is helping Turkey finance the expansion, rehabilitation and improved efficiency of electricity networks in Osmangazi, a landlocked area located in the western part of Turkey.

The loan is the AIIB’s first Turkish-lira non-sovereign loan, and has been provided to OEDAŞ, an electricity distribution company that serves almost two million people and is owned by Zorlu Enerji, which operates networks in five western provinces of Turkey.

Supee Teravaninthorn, director general of infrastructure investment (Region 2), said: “The project will contribute to three of AIIB’s thematic priorities, namely green infrastructure, private capital mobilization and technology-enabled infrastructure. We look forward to working with Zorlu Holding and our financing partners in order to contribute to the expansion and digitalization of the electricity distribution network of the Osmangazi region.”

Turkey initiated the liberalization of its electricity distribution sector in 2004 by auctioning the operating rights of 21 distribution regions to private operators. This was part of its wider strategy to upgrade its energy networks and diversify for greater energy security

The loan also establishes a new relationship between AIIB and Zorlu Group. Zorlu Enerji CFO, Elif Yener, said: “This financing shows the confidence of the international financial environment towards the Turkish economy. It is our second long-term financing in Turkish Lira from an international finance institution and the first time with AIIB for our group company OEDAŞ, which provides electricity distribution service in Osmangazi region. These local-currency debt funds will enable us to bring our installation capacities to every single corner of the region within our 5-year investment plan, which aims to provide better services to millions of people.”