By Ebru Sengul and Talha Yavuz
ANKARA (AA) - During the Ukrainian public company, Ukrenergo’s first roadshow abroad held last week in Ankara, Turkish companies were encouraged to participate in Ukraine's electricity infrastructure tenders that will be offered over the coming decade.
Ukraine’s national power company Ukrenergo’s chair of the supervisory board Sevki Acuner told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that electricity infrastructure tenders worth $3 billion are up for grabs.
“Just a few Ukrainian companies are able to make the planned investments,” he explained, leaving Turkish companies with opportunities to break into this untapped market.
Ukraine’s energy sector is currently experiencing a transformation. In order to modernize the Soviet-era energy infrastructure, the country wants to liberalize energy trade away from long-term contracts to avail of more dynamic and cost-effective prices on the free market.
July 1 saw the start of this liberalization with the aim of aligning the country’s energy market to that of the EU’s third energy packet. This legislative package for the internal oil and gas market in the EU aims at improving the functioning of the internal energy market and resolving certain structural problems.
Acuner noted that one of the outcomes of this transformation was the transfer of important state monopolies to supervisory boards, which consists of mainly independent members.
He explained that the tenders offered will be supported by independent international organizations like the World Bank and the European Bank for reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and will be conducted via a transparent process.
The roadshow held by Ukrenergo, in partnership with International Turkish Ukrainian Businessmen’s Association (TUID), promoted the power sector in Ukraine but Acuner said that other opportunities are available in other sectors as well.
“For instance, Turkey’s Onur Construction Company is a good example of this. The company has built hundreds of kilometers of road in Ukraine,” Acuner said.
The Onur Construction Company operates in various countries worldwide. The company already has a presence in Ukraine and has a good reputation there.
He hailed the common entrepreneurial spirit shared between Ukraine and Turkey, both of which he described as having a “dynamic economic structures,” while urging for improved bilateral relations.
He lamented the few Ukrainian companies in Turkey, but said a number of investment opportunities exist namely in the energy sector, the energy efficiency sector and in forestry products.
Acuner is well placed to represent his country with his extensive experience at board level of Ukraine’s state bodies and his collaboration with the EBRD.
“I came to Ukraine just before the Maidan events and I worked as a part of EBRD. In this process we contributed to the economic transformation of Ukraine individually and institutionally. Having finished my post in the EBRD, I was chosen as the chair on the supervisory boards of Ukrenergo and Ukranian state railways. This is the product of the love and the passion I feel for Ukraine for years,” the Turkish chair added.