UPDATE 1-Turkey's Borusan invests in U.S. to tap shale gas boom

Mon Dec 24, 2012 6:05am EST

* US energy market targeted with investment

* Long-term financing eyed

* Investment to double Borusan Mannesmann EBITDA

ISTANBUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Borusan Mannesmann, Turkey's leading steel pipe manufacturer, said it would invest $150 million in building a plant in the United States to tap the shale gas boom.

"This will be an investment to benefit from the advantages of shale gas production. It is an investment totally targeting the American energy sector, which uses smaller pipes or pipes mainly for drilling," said Agah Ugur, chief executive of parent company Borusan Holding.

A shale gas revolution has swept the United States, lowering gas prices and helping to displace more polluting coal. The country is one of the largest and most advanced of shale gas producers, with almost a third of its gas coming from shale.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping water containing chemicals into shale rock formations at high pressure but critics say it risks contaminating aquifers as well as potentially causing earth tremors.

Ugur said Borusan planned to meet a third of the investment through its equity capital and the remaining two thirds via long-term financing.

"Our first target regarding financing will be to obtain a long maturity project loan from the United States, we also plan to partially finance it through incentives," Ugur said.

"The investment will double Borusan Mannesman's EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) and will boost its annual sales by 60 percent," he said.

The facility, which is seen starting operation in the second half of 2014 and which will have an annual capacity of 300,000 tones, is expected to yield an annual revenue of $500-600 million depending on steel prices, the company said.

Shares in Borusan traded 2.99 percent higher at 27.60 lira by 1027 GMT.

Borusan is the parent company of Borusan Mannesmann and Borusan Yatirim.

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