Turkish electricity bills could rise as gas supply to power plants limited

Turkey generates 48.1 percent of its electricity via natural gas, according to government data.

Aksa Energy announced in a statement on Wednesday that BOTAS had asked some large power plants to reduce gas usage in energy generation by 50 percent, effective as of Thursday. Citing energy officials, Reuters reported on the same day that the decision was made due to an expected rise in demand ahead of a potentially cold weather.

On Wednesday, the unit price of electricity at the spot market increased by TL 0.04, raising doubts over further rises according to energy experts.

Ak Energy also confirmed on Thursday that it had been asked to reduce gas usage by 50 percent.

BOTAS’s request came amid concerns that Russia may reduce the gas it supplies to Turkey as part of sweeping retaliatory steps taken immediately after the latter shot down a Russian fighter jet on Nov. 24. Russia is responsible for 55 percent of Turkey’s annual gas imports.

Speaking to Bloomberg HT, Candas Gulez, managing partner at an energy consultation firm, said the rise in prices at the spot market could persist if the gas supply to power plants remains limited.

İs Investment analyst Aslı Kumbaracı, meanwhile, was quoted as saying that such problems will definitely lead to price hikes given that gas usage has a huge role in electricity production.

TEB Investment analyst Kenan Cosguner told the same news outlet that it is too early to observe how the latest development will affect prices.

In addition to ongoing concerns over the gas supply from Russia, Iran, the second-largest gas provider to Turkey, temporarily reduced the volume of gas flow to Turkey due to its own increased demand. The flow returned to normal later on.

In the meantime, Parliament discussed a draft bill on Wednesday which is expected to facilitate the importation of electricity from Georgia.