The Hunutlu Thermal Power Plant, China’s biggest project with direct investment in Turkey, officially started construction on Sunday in the southern province of Adana.

The project, with a total investment of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars mainly from the Shanghai Electric Power Company, is a flagship project linking the China’s Belt & Road Initiative with Turkey’s “Middle Corridor” vision.

The project, which includes the construction of the power plant and the ports specially designed for coal transportation, is expected to have a capacity of 1,320 megawatts after completion.

It is also expected to generate 9 billion kilowatt hours every year after going into full operation, accounting for an estimated 3 percent of all electricity supplies across Turkey.

Governor of Adana Mahmut Demirtas, who attended the ceremony marking the start of the project, said the Hunutlu power plant, which adopted world’s advanced technologies, will make a great contribution to Turkey’s economy and the local community.

The project, which has also made an effort to preserve local environment and heritage, will be a benchmark in China-Turkey cooperation, he added.

Wang Yundan, CEO of the Shanghai Electric Power Company, said that he aims to build a clean and reliable power plant with high efficiency, which is also expected to help boost Turkey’s economy, raise employment and promote sustainable power generation.

The project is planned to begin its first phase of operation at the end of 2021.