Turkey raised the price of natural gas used by power plants and industry, while consumer gas prices remained unchanged, the state energy company announced Monday, as a global price spike drove up import bills.
The country’s natural gas distributor BOTAŞ said the price of gas used by power plants was increased by 47% and the price of gas used by industry by over 48%.
More costly gas could keep upward pressure on Turkey’s inflation, which rose to 19.58% in September, the highest since March 2019.
Natural gas prices have soared by around 280% in Europe this year and by more than 100% in the United States, pushing up winter fuel bills.
Low storage inventories, high demand for gas in Asia, less Russian and liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply to Europe than usual, high carbon prices and outages have led to the spike.
In a statement after announcing the increase, BOTAŞ suggested that the high prices seen around the world were not reflected in the same proportion on the consumers in Turkey.
“The high energy prices experienced all over the world to date have not been reflected on our consumers at the same rate. All subscriber groups have been maximally protected,” the company said.
Yet, it said within the framework of the possibilities amid increasing costs, “it has become necessary to make an arrangement in a way that will affect our consumers at the minimum level” as of Nov. 1.
BOTAŞ in September raised the prices for industrial use and for electricity production by 15%.
One of the largest gas importers in Europe, Turkey depends on pipeline gas from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports from Nigeria, Algeria and spot markets.
Local consumption is expected to hit 60 billion cubic meters (bcm) this year, almost a fifth higher than earlier estimates as vacant gas plants kicked in to cover shortfalls in hydropower production.
Unusually dry conditions since last year decreased the share of hydro in Turkey to its lowest level in at least a decade.
The share of dams and rivers in electricity generation, which usually offset spikes in power prices, fell below 20% in the first eight months of this year.
Increasing gas and imported coal prices pushed local wholesale power prices up nearly 44% since the beginning of the year
Turkey regulates gas prices and charges a higher rate for big consumers like power plants. Bills for households that use gas for heating rose nearly 19% this year, compared to 69% for power plants.