TODAY.AZ / Business

Ceyhan residents wait for pipeline to transform city

21 April 2007 [16:03] - TODAY.AZ
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which carries Azeri oil to European markets through Turkey and is a key part of Turkey's plan to become a global energy hub, is transforming the port city of Ceyhan into a magnet for domestic and foreign investment.

Billions of dollars are projected to flow into region, and news of new investment is coming one after another, boosting excitement among the southern Anatolian city's inhabitants.

Following Turkey's leading fuel company Petrol Ofisi, other companies have applied to the Energy Market Regulatory Agency (EPDK) to construct refineries and petrochemical planats, including Turcas-Socar and a joint venture between Calik Energy and the Indian Oil Corporation. The investments are worth an estimated $11 billion.

Residents hope the investments will grow their incomes and create new jobs. Ceyhan's Provincial Governor Ahmet Boyaci said they are receiving news of new investments with every passing day and that many companies are conducting feasibility studies. However, he warned people not to expect the investments to have an immediate impact on the city.

Boyaci touched on the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline, the groundbreaking ceremony of which will be April 24 in Golovasi village and will be attended by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler and Italian Industry Minister Pier Luigi Bersani. "The preparatory work is proceeding very fast. Ceyhan is seeing no end to fresh investments every day. These investments are vitalizing not only the region's economy but also the country's economy," he said.

"If we want to have larger benefits from investments, we have to immediately initiate infrastructure investment to attract more inflow. The first thing we must do is create more accommodations. Ceyhan has an abundant amount of potential to meet any investment project; we just need to get mobilized for it," he said.

Chairman of the Ceyhan Chamber of Commerce (CTO) Ali Duru pointed out that it would take a few years before the city's investments started making a noticeable impact in the city. "Artisans, tradesmen and unemployed people in Ceyhan have expectations to see swift change, and they sometimes fall into despair when they don't see it. But it is still too early for such expectations; at least one or two years are necessary," he claimed. Duru added that the current per capita income of $7,000 will surpass $10,000 within a few years. Today's Zaman

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