Sky Harvest Windpower Corp. is pleased to announce that it has formed a joint venture corporation under the name Levant Energy Inc., a British Columbia corporation, for the purposes of developing underground natural gas storage plants in the Republic of Turkey. Sky Harvest will initially hold a 65% interest in the joint venture by investing $500,000 in the newly formed subsidiary. The investment is subject to certain conditions, including Sky Harvest’s completion of further equity or debt funding in order to finance the acquisition. The joint venture intends to use these proceeds to identify and commence securing proposed natural gas storage sites, as well as starting associated permitting processes. It is anticipated that Sky Harvest’s interest in Levant Energy Inc. will be diluted as additional funds are raised.
Turkey is experiencing rapid economic growth and is strategically positioned as a natural gas hub between Europe and the producing gas fields in the Northern Caspian and Middle East regions. As the 16th largest economy in the world, Turkey’s increasing domestic power consumption and its need to use traditional power generation sources to supplement its emerging wind power sector during times of peak power demand are increasing its need for natural gas. As well, Turkey must meet European Union natural gas directives that require pipelines supplying Europe to have access to a nominal 20% of volumes stored as natural gas to ensure security of supply. Currently, Turkey’s installed storage capacity is approximately 4% as there are only two adjacent, seasonal, natural gas storage sites operating in the country with one additional site to be developed. In contrast, there are over approximately 750 independent natural gas storage firms in Canada and the USA. Sky Harvest believes that Turkey’s needs represent a great opportunity for the Company through the development of natural gas storage facilities in the country.
Concurrently, Sky Harvest has entered into an agreement with Mr. Bertan Atalay of The Hague, Netherlands whereby he will act as President and CEO of Levant Energy Inc. Mr. Atalay has over 20 years of experience in project engineering, private and public company management, and gas and renewable energy development in both North America and Europe. He previously acted as Chief Operating Officer and a director of Finavera Renewables Inc., a Canadian wind energy and wave power technology developer. Mr. Atalay has also held business development and management positions with Northland Power Inc., Shell Wind Energy, and Enron Europe Limited. He holds engineering degrees from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey and the University of Toronto, as well as an MBA in Finance from the University of British Columbia. He was also an exchange scholar of the London Business School.
In addition to operating Levant Energy Inc., Mr. Atalay has also agreed to act as a consultant to Sky Harvest for the purpose of introducing the Company to additional acquisition opportunities in renewable energy and related sectors, including wind power development opportunities in North America, Turkey, and other regions of Europe. Sky Harvest will compensate Mr. Atalay based on the successful completion of such transactions with a success fee equal to 10% of the transaction’s value.
In connection with the joint venture formation, Sky Harvest’s President, William Iny, stated, “We are excited about the energy sector opportunities that exist in the Republic of Turkey and look forward to working with Mr. Bertan Atalay to generate more value for our stockholders. Mr. Atalay’s experience in the power industry, and his knowledge of Turkey’s energy infrastructure, make him a great asset to the joint venture. We believe that this project will complement our current portfolio of wind power properties and allow us to potentially become a diversified energy provider.”