Turkey to swap electricity for gas

Turkey to swap electricity for gas

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey to swap electricity for gas

Energy Minister Taner Yıldız (C) says that Turkey is looking to diversify its natural gas sources as it does with petroleum. Turkey will not be affected by Gazprom price hikes in Europe given its existing deal, says Yıldız. AA photo

The Turkish government plans to build a power station near the northern Iraqi border and may sell electricity to Iraq in exchange for natural gas, Turkey’s energy and natural resources minister said April 13.

“With the power station we build near the northern border of Iraq, we will supply them with electricity, and in exchange they will give us natural gas,” Minister Taner Yıldız said at a press conference in Ankara, adding that they were working on important steps to import natural gas from Iraq and this would be a very transparent process. He said the natural gas would be imported from Iraq by the company that won the tender. As well as attempting to diversify Turkey’s petroleum imports, the government is also looking to find alternate sources of natural gas imports, Yıldız said.

Yıldız also reminded journalists that Turkey had signed a special deal with Russian Gazprom and that no matter how much of a price hike Gazprom implemented on natural gas to Europe, Turkey would not be affected for the duration of the agreement.

More usage, higher fees
He also said the government was currently working on a plan whereby those who use more natural gas would pay higher prices than those who consume less, in an effort not to penalize those who consume less of the natural resource. Without the natural gas hikes, there would be a burden on the country’s budget, and that a similar system was in effect regarding gasoline.

Yıldız said the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) criticism of natural gas hikes was unfounded and unfair given that natural gas was an imported item, and the price was therefore determined externally.

“We cannot provide natural gas to citizens for free. We can do this for natural resources that are found domestically like coal, but natural gas is an imported resource. Therefore we are working on a system whereby those who use more, pay more,” Yıldız said.

According to Yıldız, while the private sector used to supply 34 percent of Turkey’s electricity, it now supplies up to 60 percent.