A Seascape of Power: Turkish Energy Infrastructures in Africa (Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies)

When and Where

Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Conference Room
4 Bancroft Ave., Toronto, ON M5S 1C1


Prof. Gökçe Günel (University of Arizona)


Abstract: Many countries around the world are having difficulty in meeting rising power demands, and employ quick energy generation mechanisms to satisfy the needs of their populations. One such technology is powerships — repurposed ships that serve as mobile power generators. Currently, the only commercial producer of powerships is a Turkish company that converts second-hand ships into floating power plants in shipyards in Tuzla, Istanbul.

Floating power plants attach themselves to national grids, and using fuel oil and natural gas, produce inexpensive electricity for countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, and Indonesia. For instance, the powership in Ghana currently provides 23% of the country’s electricity.

Drawing on fieldwork in Turkey and various parts of Africa, this talk will analyze how powership company representatives set up thick relations with governments in Africa, explore the shipyards where ships are manufactured, and investigate the use of a floating power plant in Ghana.

PDF iconGunel, Seascape of Power-Turkish Energy Infrastructures in Africa.pdf


4 Bancroft Ave., Toronto, ON M5S 1C1