By TAKHIR ABDELKAD/AFP via Getty Images Turkey’s gas giant Eni on Tuesday bought the power plants of German gas turbine maker Siemens AG and another German gas power utility, TANAG, as part of a plan to boost its competitiveness in the global gas market.
The deal is the first of its kind between the two companies and underscores Turkey’s growing ambitions to become a gas exporter, analysts said.
It was not immediately clear whether the two firms would use the deal as a stepping stone to buy all the gas produced in Turkey.
The purchase of Siemens gas turbines by Eni and TANag, both of which produce power, is expected to boost Turkish energy security in a market dominated by Russia and China.
Siemens and TANEG are the largest private companies in Turkey and have become key players in the country’s energy sector, which is dominated by domestic power generation and exports to Europe.
They are also among the few Turkish firms to produce and sell natural gas and are among a small group of large domestic energy companies that can export natural gas from pipelines to Europe, a key market for Turkish companies.
Semens is currently the biggest gas producer in Turkey, producing 10.5 million cubic metres of gas annually.
TANEG, meanwhile, produces about 4.7 million cubic meters of gas per year.
The Siemens deal, which could take as long as a decade to complete, comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government are trying to modernize Turkey’s energy system.
It comes at a time when Turkey’s government is trying to diversify its economy away from relying heavily on gas exports.
The government has been seeking to attract private capital in the wake of the global financial crisis.
But the government has struggled to raise billions of dollars in public funds, partly because of a reluctance to commit to spending more than it collects from the public.
The $1.4 trillion bailout of the Turkish banks and other financial institutions was the biggest in the world for an industry that had become heavily dependent on foreign investment in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009.
It has also left many private companies with no clear path to recovery.
The country’s current debt load is roughly $20 billion.