As environmental awareness in the coal sector is becoming increasingly important, the President of the Coal Manufacturers Association on Monday recommended that Turkish sector representatives carry out environmental investments for clean coal technologies up to the end of 2019.
Muzaffer Polat, in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency ahead of the second Clean Coal Technologies Summit, which will start on Tuesday in Istanbul, explained that to comply with the emission limits set within the scope of Turkey's Regulation on the Control of Industrial Air Pollution, environmental investments should be completed.
"Targeting productivity and environmental awareness, clean coal technologies are in line with the National Energy and Mining Policy of Turkey, which prioritizes domestic production," Polat stated.
He highlighted that it is vital to produce coal without damaging human health and the environment.
"The environment and human health will not be harmed in all steps of coal production, from searching, extraction, preparation, enrichment or storage at the mines to the disposal of mine waste, in line with the Mine Waste Regulations made by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization of Turkey," Polat claimed.
“The development of environmental awareness, emission limitations and new technological developments have made the plants environmentally sensitive. Now, more efficient production per ton is possible with less emissions and mine wastage,” he said and noted, "the negative perception about coal has changed."
He also expressed the possibility of increasing the amount of energy per unit ton by reducing emissions and mine waste.
Polat said that by developing clean coal technologies, an acceleration of domestic coal production is targeted with approximately 100 million tons of coal in 2018 planned, all of which is critical to the Turkish economy.
He also explained that the government is working on an incentive package for domestic coal production.
"Producing coal with environmental technologies will be a condition for those who want to benefit from this incentive," he said.
Turkey’s National Energy and Mining Policy focuses on the diversification of energy sources on local resources and targets greater domestic coal use to increase its share of the total electricity production.
In line with the National Energy Strategy, which was presented by the country's Energy and Natural Sources Minister Berat Albayrak, Turkey is actively ensuring the country's resource diversity through investments in local coal.
Turkey imports 35-40 million tons of coal each year. Total coal reserves reached 17.3 billion tons with discoveries of 1.5 billion tons of new coal reserves in recent years, according to the association.
The Coal Manufacturers Association is organizing the second Clean Coal Technologies Summit. The summit in Istanbul, which is support by the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, will gather coal sector representatives from all over the world on April 10-11.
By Firdevs Yuksel