Century project to boost commerce in TRNC

The ‘Project of the Century’ which will transfer water and electricity from Turkey to North Cyprus will cut industrial costs and is expected to promote competitiveness in all industries.

The project is intended to ease the chronic water shortage on the island and also to help reduce the cost of electricity.

When water is transported to the TRNC, the cost of these utilities will drop, TRNC Minister for Economy and Energy, Sunat Atun said.

Turkey, the main financial supporter of the TRNC, began construction of a pipeline from the Alakopru Dam, currently under construction, to transport water and next year conduct electricity to the island.

Speaking to the TRNC Chamber of Industry’s General Assembly, Mr Atun said that electricity costs should be considerably reduced.

At the moment, there are four tariffs in the TRNC for electricity, when electricity supply from Turkey is operating, there will only be one tariff, said Atun.

The pipeline will provide 75 million cubic meters of water per year to North Cyprus from southern Turkey, while the cost of the project is expected to reach around 1 billion TL (550 million US dollars).

The four-phase project kicked off with the ground-breaking construction of the Anamur Alakopru Dam in the southern province of Mersin, which is directly across from Cyprus on the Mediterranean coast. The dam should be completed by early March 2014.

In his comments, Atun noted that the projects of transferring water and electricity from Turkey were “steps taken as part of the vision of reducing the input costs for industrial sectors” which “is not a slogan, but is a vision.”

Along with the ambitious water and electricity supply projects with Turkey, the TRNC government’s incentives for the industry, tourism and agriculture sectors would continue as they were, the minister said.

The shortage of cash has propelled the TRNC into increasing its efforts to reduce costs and boost its industry and increase its exports to cover its imports by backing local production.

“The country need exports not politics,” Atun said. “The rate of exports to imports is better than compared to five years ago but it’s true that there is still a cash problem in the country and we try to pump cash into markets.”

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