Sunday, 15 June 2014

“Turkish Water for Turkish Cyprus”

Turkish water pipeline to Northern Cyprus

Will the pipeline deliver more than water alone?

The much vaunted and long awaited water pipeline, which will become the physical link between motherland Turkey and Turkish Cyprus is now expected to be finally connected early next year. Delivering some 70 Million cubic metres of potable water directly into the Gecitköy reservoir, this hugely valuable resource has the capability of augmenting vitally needed drinking water to the island as a whole. Whether this initiative could be a positive bargaining chip for the Turkish Cypriot negotiators during the ‘talks’, is a matter for conjecture, for it is entirely likely that the Orthodox Church will dismiss Turkish water as ‘evil’  just as it did with electricity supplies from North Cyprus, after one of south Cyprus’ power stations blew up last year. 

It had been speculated that the pipeline project would be completed by September of this year, but the bad winter had a considerable impact on progress and further delays have now been encountered. A project of this magnitude does however, tend to contain the potential for unforeseen circumstances; most civil engineering projects do, from the writers close personal experience, and a complex scheme such as this one, can be no exception to the rule. Sub-Marine topography is one thing, but security of the facility especially in this region, will be another significant factor and a high degree of secrecy envelopes the management of this project.

There has been a lot of speculation that in addition to the supply of seemingly endless quantities of high quality drinking water, the pipeline could also support, via fibre optic cables ‘piggy-backing’ the pipeline bearing Hydro Electric Power. There are no technical reasons why this added benefit could not be achieved (save for security measures) but very little is being revealed as to Turkey’s intentions in this regard. 

The flags on the hill to remind the Greeks of their 'place'

Clearly, any measure especially a ‘clean, green’ one, which bears electricity to Northern Cyprus, is going to be very much welcomed, for as recent articles have revealed, the TRNC is close to its limits in terms of electricity generation at the present time. HEP, in conjunction with other ‘green energy’ projects would materially benefit the Turkish Cypriot economy by a very considerable degree indeed. Municipal Waste to Energy, depending upon plant type and size selected, could add 50 MWH to the grid daily. Add to this, Bio-Waste to Energy and possibly HEP too, the potential for an energy surplus is a real one.

Quite how the government of the south Cyprus regime would view its neighbour being armed with energy self-reliance does not take too much thought or speculation. The reaction would be one of indignant jealousy added to other negative outbursts. On the other hand, this columnist learned from contacts in the south of the island, that there are plans to construct a Bio-Waste to energy plant on a diary farm however this would produce only some 2 MWH. The government have placed limits by way of its licensing regime in this respect. It is further understood that household waste too, might be converted to energy using a plant designed by an Austrian/Canadian consortium, in the same location.

Surely it cannot be beyond the wit of Turkish Cypriot politicians to realise that not only is energy self-sufficiency for Northern Cyprus a key goal, but it is highly attainable too and within a relatively short time-frame as well. For example, a Municipal Waste to Energy plant of a size that would deliver 25 MWH continuously, 7 days a week for at least 300 days per annum. There is nothing to stop a second such plant from being constructed especially if garbage could also be imported for energy conversion purposes.

Green-Energy (yeşil enerji) that includes HEP from Turkey via the pipeline, waste to energy conversion initiatives AND solar power, can all materially augment the energy needs of Northern Cyprus and power the country towards the ‘nirvana’ of energy self-sufficiency. It has to be the hope of the citizens and residents of Turkish Cyprus that their politicians avail themselves of the opportunities that now freely present themselves.


Chris Green  

Beşparmak Media Services

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