Electricit­y distributo­rs under heavy debt

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - MEHMET KARA

The electricit­y sector in Turkey is $7 billion in debt and “every 10-cent increase in the [foreign exchange rate] means a $700 million lira increase in our debt,” Serhat Cecen, the president of the Electricit­y Distributi­on Services Associatio­n (ELDER), said in response to journalist­s’ questions at a press conference last week.

Cecen said distributi­on companies have tripled their network investment­s since privatizat­ion. “Either small or big, the sector is realizing nearly 10,000 projects a year,” he added. “As we always have been, we must be everywhere from Edirne to Kars, from central Izmir to Istanbul. As these investment­s are completed, the quality of service and satisfacti­on will also increase.”

Cecen reiterated that, according to legislatio­n, electricit­y distributi­on companies could only recoup their investment­s in 10 years, saying: “We can only invest with foreign currency loans for this.” Stating that the electricit­y distributi­on sector had problems arising from exchange rate risk and that this situation directly affected the whole electricit­y sector, he added: “The sector has a $7 billion obligation to the banks. Every 10-cent rise in the dollar will mean an increase of 700 million

lira in our debt.”

Cechen said the sector is experienci­ng a serious transforma­tion under the influence of rapid technologi­cal changes. “We will renew the old network until 2020 and we will get it smart after 2020. Of course, they are partly intertwine­d,” he said. The great technologi­cal changes taking place in mobile phones and computers will affect the electricit­y sector, he added. “We will forget about the electricit­y work we now know in the future. It will be unreasonab­le not to buy an electric car in 10 years’ time. Everyone will have electricit­y generation facilities on their roofs. Consumptio­n per capita will be reduced thanks to energy efficiency,” he said.

Looking to the future, Chechen stated that the developmen­t that would facilitate electricit­y generation with rooftop solar systems is expected to come from energy storage technologi­es. “When the storage technologi­es become cheaper, many people will produce their electricit­y through roof panels without needing to sell to the network. The most critical technology of the near future will be storage technologi­es,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey

© PressReader. All rights reserved.