The Belt and Road Project

“The substantial loan provided (for the Hunutlu Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant) by a consortium of three Chinese banks is actually a bit controversial because it is contrary to the principles of sustainable banking. The project is being built on a biodiversity conservation area; a nesting site of sea turtles which is protected by the United Nation.”

Chinese Financing and Belt and Road Project

In 2013, China announced its Belt and Road Project Initiative, which is mainly based on transportation and energy investments. The aim of this new policy is to connect China with Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Africa via sea and to connect it with Central Asia, Middle East and Europe via railways, creating a mutual connectivity network with the countries involved in the initiative through investments.

The project, which is also described as a means of reviving the Ancient Silk Road and which involves some 70 countries, is planned to be completed by 2049, which marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

After announcing the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, the Chinese Government preferred to invest in green projects in such developed countries as Australia and Japan and in coal-fired power plants in such developing countries as Pakistan and Egypt.

While Turkey could have been part of long-term renewable energy investment plans thanks to its infrastructure potential, it is in the same group as the developing countries due to the instability of the political relations of the two countries. Although Iskenderun Bay is an important port from a geostrategic point of view, Turkey has failed to become part of the transportation and logistics pillar of the Belt and Road Initiative policy. Instead, Turkey has got involved in this initiative with such a low-quality and unproductive coal-fired thermal power plant project as the Hunutlu Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant, which will be constructed from scratch and mainly with Chinese capital.

At a time when China’s other coal investments are disrupted, the fact that the construction of its investment in Turkey has started can be explained by the fact that the government has accelerated the investment, taking into account the process of closing its trade deficit with financing in the short term and creating direct financial aid and employment. Energy investments continue to be an area Turkey gives priority in its domestic policy.


If Chinese government wants to realize a low-carbon economic growth, which it features in its international discourse, commits to comply with the principles of sustainable financing, and maintain its reputation, then it must definitely give an end to its investments in such high-carbon projects as the Hunutlu Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant, which is China’s largest direct investment in Turkey. 


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