By: Ibrahim Mahmoud
Yemen and Turkey agreed during the first Yemeni-Turkish Energy Forum, held in Sanaa, on the development of bilateral cooperation in the sectors of oil, gas and minerals, as well as on the development of a joint mechanism to accelerate the establishment of joint ventures between the private sectors of the two countries.
A Yemeni oil source told Al-Hayat yesterday [May 26] that Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz announced his country’s readiness to provide Yemen with electric power needs in return for the purchase of large quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The source added that Yemen and Turkey have reached common understandings that would develop cooperation between the two countries in the oil and energy sector, pointing out that Yemen has made offers that would strongly encourage Turkish companies to enter the Yemeni market.
Yildiz said his country may need to buy about two billion cubic meters of natural gas from Yemen as well as quantities of crude oil, especially if the prices were encouraging. Yildiz said, “Turkey wants to cooperate with Yemen in the fields of energy, oil and gas through research and exploration as well as through the purchase of LNG. It is also seeking cooperation in the field of generation and production of electrical energy.” He expressed his country’s desire to establish electrical power plants in Yemen and create an effective partnership between the two private sectors in Yemen and Turkey.
Yemeni Minister of Oil and Minerals Ahmed Abdullah Dares signed a memorandum of understanding with Yildiz on cooperation between the two countries in the field of oil and minerals. This memorandum provides for opening broader areas of partnership in relation to the exploration of oil and minerals in Yemen and the facilitation of joint action in the fields of oil, gas and minerals, in addition to the establishment of joint ventures and training Yemeni cadres.
A memorandum of understanding between the Yemeni Ministry of Electricity and the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was signed. According to this memorandum, Turkey shall establish an electric power plant in Yemen with a generating power of 163 megawatts. This plant operates on diesel, oil and natural gas, at a cost of $200 million, secured by Turkey through a soft loan that it provides for Yemen.
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said his country is an open market to Turkish imports, which reinforce the interests of the two countries, adding that Turkey is the Arab region’s gate to Europe given the economic and trade clout that it enjoys, as well as the balanced relations that it has with all of the countries. During a meeting with the Turkish delegation, Mansour Hadi expressed Yemen’s keenness to provide all the benefits and facilities for the Turkish investments in various fields.
Dares said that the first Yemeni-Turkish Energy Forum, which brought together about 60 companies from both sides, falls within the framework of the government’s policy to develop the oil sector and open up new avenues for investment in the fields of oil, which is one of the most important sectors needed to achieve economic stability and to plan for the future. He added that the Ministry of Oil and Minerals is seeking to carry out surveys in the field of oil aimed at providing the necessary information and encouraging companies and investors. This, he added, reflects the serious will to create a climate of investment in this area.
Dares revealed that there are 35 international oil companies competing for the right of franchise in order to invest in 20 oil sectors in Yemen, versus 23 companies that applied for five oil sectors. Nine of these companies were qualified to compete for these sectors. The Yemeni Minister of Electricity and Energy Saleh Samih said he discussed with the Turkish delegation the coordination mechanism between the two countries, as well as the formation of a joint committee to discuss energy.
Samih mentioned that the current generating power in Yemen does not exceed 750 megawatts at the level of the republic’s governorates, pointing to his country’s need for Turkey’s assistance in establishing a new power system to replace the current one and thus enabling Yemen to raise its generating capacity during the next 10 years to 5,000 megawatts.
It should be noted that the Yemeni Geological Survey Authority signed earlier this year a memorandum of understanding with the Turkish company Lidya Madencilik in Istanbul in the field of exploration and investment of gold and base metals in the Blok Herd region located in the Hajjah Governorate, in northwest Yemen.
Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab).