Norway's Statkraft sells unfinished hydropower plant to Turkey's Limak

OSLO/ISTANBUL, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Norwegian utility Statkraft has sold a partially-constructed hydropower plant in Turkey to local conglomerate Limak Holding, which will invest some $400 million in the plant and expects to start operations by 2021, the firms told Reuters.

The Cetin power plant in southeast Turkey was to be Statkraft’s largest hydropower plant outside Norway but the company had to stop construction due to fighting between Turkish security forces and Kurdish PKK militants in 2016.

Only 20 percent of the project was built and Statkraft wrote down assets valued at 2.1 billion crowns ($269.8 million) last year.

“The deal is closed,” said a Statkraft spokesman, adding the transaction’s value would be published in the firm’s third-quarter results on Oct. 26.

Limak, which is involved in sectors such as energy, construction and tourism, plans the facility to be operational by 2020 but the beginning of 2021 is a more “realistic” date, a Limak official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

“When Limak took over, some construction work had taken place and some of the equipment had been ordered. From today onwards, Limak will make around $400 million in investments,” the source said.

Security was not an issue in the area, the official added. “We haven’t experienced any issues about security in the area. Limak is already an investor in the region with different facilities,” the person said.

$1 = 7.7848 Norwegian crowns Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Mark Potter