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Begendik Thermal Power Plant, Turkey


A thermal power plant has been proposed in a forest area of 50 ha closed to Begendik Town. Within the scope of the current legislation, the absence of legal barriers and use restrictions around the project area was instrumental in the choice for the thermal power plants location. The plant will generate 9 billion kW electricity annually. It is planned to join the generated electricity to the 380 kilovolt Hamitabat Habibler line via a 25 km line. The coal will be transported via 150.000 ton capacity ships. In the coastal zone of the power plant, a port or jetty suitable for ships of this size will be constructed. The thermal plant will harm the biodiversity through forest destruction and regional fishing activities through the port. Furthermore the sea water will get warmer as the cooling water for the plant will be taken from the sea. Toxic gases coming out of the 150m chimney will lead to acid rain as well as respiratory diseases.

On 31.10.2012, Demirkoy and Igneada Municipalities, local environmental associations and local people prevented the informative meeting to be organised as part of the EIA Regulation by the company in charge of the project. For security reasons, the gendarmerie (Robocop) and roughly 50 soldiers and 25 policemen showed up against a potential riot. Policemen stood in the background. Problems did not arise during the protest but the exaggerated security measures created unease in the public initially. On 02.11.2012, an informative meeting targeting public institutions was held at the Ministry in Ankara. Igneadas Mayor Tahir Isik and lawyers attended this meeting. The project has been stopped for the time being.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Begendik Thermal Power Plant, Turkey
State or province:Kirklareli
Location of conflict:Demirkoy, Igneada, Begendik Town
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Coal

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The project consists of the following phases and five separate EIA reports are required in this framework.

Construction of the thermal plant Construction of the port Waste storage Transportation Running/Operation In each of the power plant unit, 191 tons of coal will be used per hour (382 tons/hr in two units) totalling 2 million 870 thousand tons of coal per year. The coal will be transported via 150.000 ton capacity ships. In the coastal zone of the power plant, a port or jetty suitable for ships of this size will be constructed. Coal to be burnt within 45 days will be stored in a 100.000 m2 area. The coal will be taken to a mill to be broken down then taken to the boiler. In order to filter the flue gases, limestone will be transported to the plant from quarries. In general, 12 tons of limestone/hour is used which is equivalent to 90.000 tons of limestone to be transported and burnt during 7500 hours of operation. Limestone waste slag, which is a by-product of flue gases filtration, will be sent to plasterboard factories. While in operation, the plant will produce 46 tons of ash per hour and 344.000 tons annually. The ash will be kept in 4 silos of 1200 m3 and then will be transferred to cement industry; otherwise the waste will be regularly stored in the plant grounds. The storage area is 120.000 m2 with a lifespan of 20 years. For cooling water, 194.000 tons of sea water will be extracted per hour. With the other water requirements this amount will be close to 200.000 tons.

Once used, the cooling water will be held in stilling basins and then released back to the sea. Ideally the temperature of this water will not be 2 degrees higher than the original. In addition to the cooling water, 640 tons of sea water/day will be desalinised and used to run the system during the plants running. 230 tons of this will be released back to the sea in a salt concentrated manner. It is intended that 2000 people work for the construction and 550 during the operation. The domestic waste water of the 2000 people will be treated through a package system then discharged to the sea.

Domestic waste will be disposed by Igneada or Demirkoy Municipality. During the construction, solid waste is foreseen at 2.300kg/day and 630kg/day during the plants operation (waste generated by 550 workers). Furthermore, during the construction 300kg of waste mud will be generated per day from the treated wastewater.

Industrial waste oils will be stored in sealed waste oil tanks. The drinking water need at the construction phase will be 300 tons daily and 83 tons/day while the plant runs.

Project area:50
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10 million (since fumes will reach Istanbul)
Start of the conflict:10/2012
Company names or state enterprises:EMBA from Turkey
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, Igneada Municipality
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Local Initiative, Igneada Municipality, citizens, Igneada Environmental Association, DAYKO Foundation

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Arguments for the rights of mother nature


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents
Other Health impactsPoisoning of Water and Land
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsDifficulties in access to water


Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Project cancelled
Project stopped
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The project was stopped for the time being.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

National energy policy and environmental protection policy

EIA Regulation,

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Todays Zaman (English)

Trakyada evre felaketinin yeni adresi: Beendik Termik Santrali (The new address environmental disasters in Thrace: Begendik Thermal Power Plant Turkish)


Meta information

Contributor:Okan Can
Last update08/04/2014