ISMAIL – Electricity distribution firms in danger of seizure

Electricity distribution firms in danger of seizureThree electricity distribution companies that owe large debts to the state-run Turkish Electricity Trading and Contracting Company (TETAI) are on the verge of being confiscated by the Energy Market Regulatory Agency (EPDK).Electricity distribution firms have faced troubles following their privatization, as the illegal use of electricity has emerged as a major problem in Turkey, particularly in the lower-income regions of eastern and southeastern Anatolia While it was unspecified which three companies are in danger of seizure, they seem to be facing the same fate as the Osmangazi Electricity Distribution Company, which was privatized in 2010, and then seized by the EPDK last year after accruing large debts it was unable to pay.

After the EPDK wrote to the companies inquiring as to why they were not making payments on their loans, the companies responded to the electricity oversight institution by saying that the stolen electricity had resulted in a major cash flow problem, rendering the companies unable to pay their bills.“Certain electrical distribution firms are not paying on time for the electricity they purchase and they are accumulating debt to TETAI.

It is known that the three companies in question have accumulated millions of lira in debt,” said an unnamed energy sector expert, speaking to Today’s Zaman.Energy Minister Taner YIldIz claimed last month that only 10 percent of people living in southeastern Anatolia pay their bills and that the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) openly encourages people not to pay.

Losses of TL 49 billion were reportedly sustained last year due to stolenunpaid electricity, amounting to TL 140 per household registered with an electric company in Turkey.Following an extended period of drought that began in late 2013, concerns were raised as to whether declined reservoir levels will result in a shortage of electricity production.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman