Kahramanmaras is one of the most important provinces of Turkey in terms of underground and ground sources. Streams and dam lakes in the vicinity of Kahramanmaras are among the indicators showing that the province is in fact a realm of water.
The fact that 190 km of Ceyhan River, whose total length is 425 km, is within the provincial borders of Kahramanmaras and this river flows through narrow and deep valleys has created favorable conditions for the construction of hydroelectric power plants and a total of 14 dams, the first of which, Ceyhan HES which started power generation in 1958, have been built on this river and the construction of other 7 major projects is still continuing. With the completion of projects, hydroelectric power of the city will reach approximately 800 megawatts.
The province is also very rich in terms of mining. Such mines as lignite, tile, limestone, barite, iron, chrome and manganese are the prominent ones. There are a total of 3,25 billion tons of lignite in the basin within the borders of Afşin and Elbistan counties of Kahramanmaras. In terms of meeting the growing energy demands of our country and also with its more economic stripping/ lignite rate compared to other lignite sites, lignite basin of Afşin-Elbistan is a site that should be evaluated first. Currently, Afşin-Elbistan (A) thermal plant with a power of 4 x 344 mW has been operating since 1984 in the basin which has a capacity to meet the fuel demands of 16 thermal plant units which have 344 Mw of power. Afşin-Elbistan (B) thermal plant which has 4 x 360 mW power is among the facilities producing our country’s energy with domestic resources since 2005.
The importance of the region has increased even more with intergovernmental negotiations between Turkey and the several countries regarding the construction of energy power plant with a capacity of 8 thousand MW in Afşin-Elbistan coal field at the beginning of 2013. The construction of new thermal plants is projected with an investment of 12 billion $ within the scope of the negotiations. Thanks to the project, about 15 thousand people will be employed during the construction period and approximately 8 thousand 500 will be directly employed during the operation period. Such subsidiary industries, such as thermal power plant equipment, lignite and mining technologies are expected to develop after termination of the projects.