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U.S.–Turkish Business Development

Turkey, a long standing political and military partner of the United States and a key NATO ally, is becoming an increasingly important business destination for American companies. In 2011 and into 2012, there is increasing positive momentum in the U.S.– Turkish business relationship. Chevron and Exxon Mobil have conducted both seismic and drilling operations in the Black Sea; GE Transportation began production and marketing of its Fasttrain (High Speed Train) locomotive in Eskisehir; Boeing has increased market share with Turkish Airlines and smaller carriers; Cummins and Pratt and Whitney announced new investments in Izmir; and Sikorsky was selected by the Turkish government in a closely watched $3.5 billion tender for utility helicopters. The American Business Forum in Turkey, the American Turkish Council, and the Turkish American Businessmen’s Association maintain active programming in support of U.S.–Turkish business development.

President Obama’s April 2009 visit to Turkey – on his first overseas trip – emphasized the importance of closer commercial ties between our two countries. The U.S. and Turkish governments created the Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation (FSECC), a Cabinet-level body to lay out a long-term roadmap for enhanced bilateral trade and investment while resolving key issues impacting businesses. The U.S.-Turkish Business Council, comprised of twenty American and Turkish businesses, will make policy recommendations to the FSECC to ensure a strong private sector voice to G2G discussions. The Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks, the Energy Working Group, and the Economic Partnership Commission also support this overall effort through ongoing dialogue on bilateral economic issues. The first meeting of the FSECC in Washington in October 2010 yielded a number of tangible results, and future meetings are planned in 2012.

For more information on government to government efforts to increase U.S.-Turkish trade and investment, please contact Kristin Najdi, Turkey Desk Officer, Office of Market Access and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce at Kristin.Najdi@trade.gov

U.S. Energy Efficiency Projects in Turkey

  • Fact Sheet: DOE Near-Zero Zone Project in Turkey

WASHINGTON-The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with other U.S. agencies, is launching the Near-Zero Zone project, a demonstration project for industrial energy efficiency in Turkey. This interagency project, which has the support of the Turkish government and business organizations, will help industrial companies operating within the Izmir Ataturk Organized Industrial Zone (IAOSB) to reduce their energy intensity through a series of cost-effective efficiency upgrades. The project aims to demonstrate the impact that reducing energy consumption can have on companies’ profitability, promote bilateral trade and investment, and serve as a replicable model for companies and industrial zones throughout Turkey.

Background on the NEAR-ZERO ZONE Project

Turkey’s economy is nearly twice as energy intensive as the OECD average and its industrial sector accounts for nearly 40 percent of its total energy consumption. The Near-Zero Zone project is meant to support Turkey’s goals to reduce its industrial energy intensity while supporting Turkey’s broader energy objectives, including reducing its reliance on energy imports, bolstering its energy security, and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

The IAOSB zone was selected to host the project for three primary reasons. First, with over 500 companies operating onsite, the zone provides opportunities to work with companies of varying sizes and diverse industries, enhancing the project’s reach. Second, all of the zone’s utilities – including electricity, heat, and wastewater treatment – are provided by the zone management company, further enhancing the energy efficiency opportunities in the zone. Finally, IAOSB is located near one of Turkey’s largest ports and in a region with significant renewable energy potential, amplifying the potential for related bilateral trade and investment.

DOE will work with U.S. agencies including State, Commerce, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), US Trade and Development Agency (TDA) and Export-Import Bank on this project. In addition to support from the U.S. and Turkish governments, additional participants may include European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and TURSEFF, an entity composed of four Turkish banks (Vakifbank, Akbank, Garanti Bank and Deniz  Bank), as well as a number of private companies.

Key components of the Near-Zero Zone project will include:

  • Baseline Energy Audit: ORNL, a DOE national lab, is expected to conduct a preliminary energy audit for the participating companies. The audit will measure current energy usage and identify areas in which energy consumption can be reduced. This baseline data will ultimately be compared to data gathered at the project’s conclusion to determine the impact of the energy efficiency measures.
  • Technical Assessments: For the IAOSB zone management company and approximately 20 participating companies, experts will develop detailed studies of their energy consumption and issue recommendations on cost-effective energy efficiency measures. Each recommendation developed will include the cost of implementation and the potential impact on profitability so that companies can make business-motivated decisions. TDA and OPIC are expected to finance up to twenty technical assessments. Other financial sources may become available to fund additional technical assessments.
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades: Based on the recommendations developed in the experts’ technical assessments, the zone management and companies will be provided with information on appropriate equipment and service suppliers. The U.S. Commerce Department will provide direct access to a number of equipment and service suppliers through a trade delegation scheduled for autumn 2011. Companies will also be introduced to various lenders – including EBRD, TURSEFF, OPIC, Ex-Im and others – and offered financing options from which they can choose based on their business needs.
  • Energy Efficiency Results: After the IAOSB management company and other participating companies implement the energy efficiency measures they feel will enhance their productivity and profitability, an assessment of the project’s impact on energy consumption will be completed. DOE has requested that Turkish business organizations disseminate the findings to their member companies through whatever means they believe will have the greatest impact. This is intended to make companies across Turkey aware of the positive effect that energy efficiency can have on their bottom line. 
  • Replicability: The project is intended to promote the adoption of similar energy efficiency measures by companies and industrial zones elsewhere in Turkey. Given the strong presence of Turkish firms in Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, this project may also help create opportunities for industrial energy efficiency in those regions.

Project Timeline:

  • Winter 2011: Conduct initial energy audit
  • Spring/Summer 2011: Prepare technical studies and issue recommendations
  • Fall 2011: Present companies in the zone with equipment/service and financing options
  • Winter/Spring/Summer 2012: Implement efficiency upgrades
  • Fall 2012: Complete final assessment and disseminate project results

Who Wins: This pilot project represents a ‘win-win’ for Turkish and American companies, as well as the U.S. and Turkish governments. On the Turkish side, companies would benefit directly from U.S. technologies, financing, and associated reductions in energy costs while the government would benefit from the sharing of best practices and reduction in industrial sector energy consumption. On the U.S. side, companies would be able to provide equipment and services to up to 500 companies in the industrial zone, as well as to establish a strong foothold in Turkey’s growing energy efficiency and clean energy markets. Meanwhile, the USG would make significant progress in advancing President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan’s shared commitment to increase bilateral trade and investment.

Contact Info: For more information, please contact Merryl Burpoe (merryl.burpoe@hq.doe.gov; 202.586.5154) or Ilan Stein (ilan.stein@hq.doe.gov), (202.586.9925) at the U.S. Department of Energy.