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equipment and technology. As a result, find-

ing a place on the business and operational

sides makes more sense. The first thing I did

when I began working here was to look at

the opportunities that could be found in the

regions in which Tekfen was already active.

For instance, in Jordan, tender was put out

for a 200 megawatt-capacity plant. Another

tender was announced in Morocco. Saudi

Arabia announced it would launch a thou-

sand-plus gigawatt investment in the renew-

able energy sector by the year 2020. How-

ever, to be a part of such projects, one needs

references first. To qualify for bidding, one

not only has to have made investments of at

least 100-200 megawatts in wind power and

50-60 megawatts in solar, one is also expect-

ed to have operated these installments for a

few years at least. In this context, we decid-

ed to first look at what we could accomplish

in Turkey. In Europe now, more than half of

the investments in the energy sector are in

wind and solar power. Renewable energy is

one of the fastest growing industries. Al-

though the profit margins may have fallen

slightly over the last few years, there is still a

huge amount of business to be done. In a

relatively mature market such as Turkey’s,

one cannot find the huge profit-making

projects of old, but as the sector is now firm-

ly settled here, things operate more smooth-

ly. What we would like to do is start a project

in Turkey where we can forecast outcomes to

a degree and then move on to countries with

higher profit margins. This could be in the

Balkans or in the Middle East, or in any of

the CIS countries. As for geothermal energy

plants, these are the type of facilities Tekfen

is more accustomed to build. But if we are

talking about wind and solar energy, it

would make more sense to be an investor in-


Tekfen generally conducts business in

oil and gas-rich countries. Is there a

place for renewable energy in these


Sinan Seyhun:

Several oil and gas-rich

countries, from the UAE to Qatar and from

Kuwait to Saudi Arabia, have recently an-

nounced plans for investment in this area.

This is a business with investments that are

worth tens of billions of dollars. The most

competitive tenders may very well be of-

fered in these countries, as it is these coun-

tries that are looking to generate electricity

as economically as possible. Last year in Abu

Dhabi, the cost of solar energy was reduced

to 3 cents per kilowatt per hour. This obvi-

ously attracts a great deal of interest. More-

over, as a result of financial and state sup-

port, these countries are very good places in

which to invest.

İlda Değirmentaş:

The Middle East is

abundant in oil but not in water. There are

many desalination plants in the region but

these plants requires huge amounts of en-

ergy to run, which is why generating energy

and producing drinking water as cheaply as

possible using solar power have become pri-

ority areas. It is a topic that frequently

comes up at international water summits

and conferences.

Fatih Can:

Salinity levels in the Persian

Gulf have risen dramatically as a result of

the desalination plants, and this has upset

the entire ecological balance of the region.

The issue is not just water, naturally. Life ex-

pectancies have risen worldwide and the

world population is increasing rapidly. In

the not too distant future, it is clear that

this will all have profound consequences on

our children’s lives. We now have a duty not

to pollute so much and to consume less, and

these realities will inevitably have an effect

on our business. That is why we must always

act with the future in mind.

As the Business Development Depart-

ment, when looking at the people sit-

ting around this table, the importance

given to renewable energy is quite

clear. In this regard, we would like to

become better acquainted with the

newcomers to the firm and hear some

of their ideas.

Cihan Kaçar (Project Development En-

gineer, Renewable Energy):

I joined the

team only a couple of months ago. I started

in the energy sector in 2008 at a German-

based wind turbine manufacturing firm. Af-

ter that, I moved on to another German

firm, an engineering consultancy firm,

where I worked for 6 years. Tekfen is a firm

looking to invest in the field of energy.

There is a stream of new projects that are

continually developing and being developed.

We assess each one thoroughly and try to

see how they would pan out. We are also

careful that the projects are environmental-

ly friendly. When I applied for this position,

I did not know that Tekfen was looking to

invest in renewable energy. It was a surprise

for me, and it naturally increased my inter-

est in Tekfen yet further.

Engin Aytekin (Investment Assessment


I also joined the Tekfen family

recently, 5 months ago. What I do is create

financial models for investments in the

fields of renewable energy and PPP (Public

Private Partnership). I am familiar with the

energy sector, thanks to my previous jobs.

The difference between Tekfen and the com-

panies I have previously worked is that Tek-

fen pays great attention to detail and is far

more risk-averse. For instance, when pre-

paring to bid for a tender for an energy li-

cence, we proceed as though we have already

been awarded the project and go into min-

ute details, as though we are about to begin

operating the plant itself. I have seen deci-

sions made in the sector with far more su-

perficial work. In the period since my join-

ing Tekfen, we have been working closely

with banks in order to formulate financing

models. We want these models to determine

the prices we offer when bidding for tender.

Mert Sözdinletir (Business Develop-

ment Engineer):

I recently completed my

first year at Tekfen, and during this period, I

have had the chance to get to know the Tek-

fen family better. I already knew a little

about Tekfen frommy internship here when

I was a student and from graduate friends

from Bosphorus University. However, since

starting work, I have noticed that the most

important thing here is the corporate struc-

ture. There is a settled structure here and a

well-established tradition. As the Business

Development Department, we work on for-

mulating the company’s strategy and future

business. We conduct analyses and studies

in order to be more competitive. We are con-

stantly monitoring the markets and the de-

veloping world. For example, a few weeks

ago when I was in the elevator, I happened

to bump into a banker; that banker will soon

be coming here for a meeting with us to dis-

cuss credit availability for our projects. You

can never tell when or from where an oppor-

tunity may arise. Whilst surfing the web the

other day, I saw a tender for CERN, the Eu-

ropean Nuclear Research Centre. We are

planning on submitting a bid for it as Tekfen

Manufacturing and our Steel Manufactur-

ing Plant in Ceyhan, Southeast Turkey.

What we are trying to do is expand our vi-

sion as much as possible.

As technology, business time scales

and economic conditions rapidly

evolve on the global level, are there

any outside organisations you consult

or with which you collaborate in order

to keep track of developments re-

garding the directions the sector will


Mert Sözdinletir:

In this regard, we are

constantly reading and observing. Not just

the news channels but also research reports

and articles and papers by strategists. We

also get information from various institutes

and universities.