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BOTAŞ hikes natural gas prices 49.5 pct for electric power plants

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Turkey’s Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) on Tuesday sent a memo to power plants that generate electricity through natural gas announcing that a 49.5 percent price hike would be applied to the natural gas they buy, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.

One cubic meter of natural gas, priced at TL 877 before the hike, will cost TL 1,312 starting from tomorrow.

BOTAŞ also said it would accept payments only in US dollars, using the central bank’s daily basis valuation of the Turkish lira against the dollar.

Economists expect a significant rise in daily electric usage prices in the coming months.

BOTAŞ was transferred by government decree to Turkey’s newly founded Wealth Fund in February 2017.

The fund, approved by parliament in August 2016, has been using proceeds from the sale of assets to finance large infrastructure projects such as airports, seaports, roads and railroads across the country, with former Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi saying the fund’s eventual asset size could reach $200 billion.

However, the government’s move to transfer Treasury assets from a number of top companies to the Wealth Fund has attracted widespread criticism, with many suggesting that these companies will no longer be financially supervised and that their operations will lack transparency.

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