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Protests Erupt in Turkey Over 100% Rise In Energy Bill

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Burdened by inflation, 100 percent rise in gas prices and electricity bills since the year began, citizens of Turkey have taken to the streets and social media to protest their plights.

Protesters on the streets, who called on the government to revoke the recent price hikes in the energy bills, told the local media that they have had enough of the two to threefold increase in bills they received over the past month.

Investors King learned that Turkey is currently facing a shortage in nationwide gas delivery, as its major supplier, Russia is currently facing geopolitical tensions with neighbouring country, Ukraine. Its second supplier, Iran has cut gas supply to the country.

Last week, Iran notified Turkey of a 10-day halt to natural gas supplies, over harsh winter conditions affecting the Middle Eastern nation’s gas production.

With the Russian gas supply dwindling, the Iranian supply cut coming at a very bad time, Turkey with no replaceable supplier, has had to impose restrictions to limit gas use and cut electricity supplies for industrial sites.

At the beginning of the year, the country’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) announced that it has raised electricity prices by more than 100 percent for high-demand commercial users and businesses.

Turkish residents were not left out from the hike as their households’ electricity bills were raised by 50 percent.

According to Turkey’s national oil and gas distributor, BOTAŞ, the natural gas prices for residential use rose by 25 percent, and 50 percent for industrial use in January. The increment, BOTAŞ says, was 15 percent for electricity-generating industrial use.

The energy price hikes put more financial burden on the Turks, who currently are challenged by a 44 percent depreciation of the Turkish lira against the US dollar last year. This significantly reduced the citizens’ purchasing power, as well as annual inflation, which reached its highest level in 19 years at 36.1 percent in December 2021.

At the protest, many of the Turks pushed for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his administration to resign or cancel the price hikes.

On social media, Turkish singer Yeşim Salkım posted a video on Twitter that shows her wrapped in a blanket in a dim room. Salkim lamented that she received a gas bill of TL 2,200 ($165/N68,600) in January.

“I’m wrapped in a blanket with only this one light on. Am I living in a country other than Turkey and just don’t know it? What are these price hikes? Are we in a dream or something? Somebody poke me and wake me up,” the singer says in the video.

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FG to Add Additional 817 MWs to The National Grid to Boost Power Supply

The federal government has revealed plans to add an additional 817 megawatts (MWs) of electricity to the national grid to boost power supply within the federal capital territory (FCT) and its environs.

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The federal government has revealed plans to add an additional 817 megawatts (MWs) of electricity to the national grid to boost power supply within the federal capital territory (FCT) and its environs.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Mr. Sule Abdulaziz while on a visit to the ongoing projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He added that when the project is completed, it would add 1. 465 more transmission lines to the grid, improving and strengthening the FCT’s access to electricity.

In his words, “With the additional lines, TCN capacity of transmission lines will be higher than what is in existence and this means that in future, we can build some sub-stations without upgrading the lines”.

“This is part of efforts to increase transmission wheeling capacity in the FCT and environs. The project is categorized into six lots and is far advanced in execution above 85 percent in total completion by December.

“This will be adequate and it will serve the population of Abuja. The government while making plans for the project has in mind that if the population of FCT increases within five to 10 years, there is a master plan that the station will serve the territory in the next 50 years.

“Construction of complete new 2x60MVA, 132/33 KV substation with 132KV line Bays at Wumba/Lokogoma including about 5km 132 underground XLPE Cable from New Apo Sub Station are ongoing.

“Others are the construction of a 2x150MVA 330/132/33KV substation at New Apo where the managing director frowns at the slow pace of work done by the contractor”.

He also lamented on the recent abysmal supply of electricity, noting that the contracts for all the substations were signed at the same time and wondered why the slow pace of work.

“We have spent a lot of money to clear their containers which entered demurrage and this money is not part of AFD grant but TCN Internally Generated Revenue which could have been used for other projects. We are going to push them to finish the project on time,‘’ he said.

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Here is Why Otedola is Listing N250 Billion Geregu Power Plant

Otedola listed Geregu to raise additional cash for expansion in the Nigerian energy sector

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Wondering why billionaire Femi Otedola listed Geregu Power? Here is a concise breakdown of what might have compelled the billionaire to run to the capital market after nine years of acquiring the Geregu Power plant via Amperion Power, a company he owns a 99.9% stake in.

In 2013, the year the billionaire first invested in the energy sector. Otedola dumped a total sum of $94 million on Geregu Power through Amperion.

In 2018, Otedola invested an additional $350 million in the sector, saying it was a sign of his commitment to the Federal Government’s plans of addressing the age-long challenges impeding the electrification of the nation.

The huge investment was the billionaire hint of what is to come as shortly after he announced the sale of Forte Oil to Abdulwasiu Sowami, the present owner of Forte. Otedola sold all his 75% stake in Forte Oil in 2019 and immediately announced a shift in his investment direction.

Earlier this year, Amperion Energy was selected by Federal Government to bid for the sales of Geregu II after reporting a reasonable success with Geregu Power in 2021 when the company declared a profit after tax of over N20 billion.

Otedola, who just invested a substantial amount in FBN Holdings Plc, needs to source for funds if he must expand his grip in the energy industry. The billionaire quickly divested N8 billion from his over 7% stake in FBN Holdings and went on to list the Geregu Power plant on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) at N250 billion to raise an additional fund for Geregu II bidding.

Geregu II Generation Company was put up for sale by the Federal Government amongst other power plants like Benin Generation Company Limited, Omotosho Generation Company Limited, Calabar Generation Company Limited, and Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited for acquisition in July 2022.

The Geregu II Generation Company has a capacity of 434MW. Therefore, by acquiring Geregu II Otedola’s total power-generating capacity would increase to 848MW given Geregu current capacity of 414MW.

Geregu Power Plc was incorporated in November 2006 as one of the unbundled companies from the non-existing Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The power plant began operations in 2007 with a total installed capacity of 414MW at commissioning. Therefore, given the seemingly unplanned method, in which Otedola jumped on FBN Holdings shares following the exit of Otudeko, the billionaire will need extra cash to expand his market share in the energy space. This listing explained how he plans to access or he is accessing that extra cash.

Calvados Global Services Limited, Otedola’s investment company used in acquiring most of his stake in FBN Holdings, owns 95% of Amperion Energy.

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Natural Gas Analyst Predicts Slim Chance of Ending Gas Flaring by December 2022

Costs, policy, and operating environment among others need to be reviewed if the Federal Government must end gas flaring by December 2022.

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Costs, policy, and operating environment among others need to be reviewed if the Federal Government must end gas flaring by December 2022, natural gas analyst, Kayode Oluwadare, has said.

According to Oluwadare, the federal government must address the cost differential between local and foreign retail prices, review its gas policy and ensure an enabling business environment for intending gas investors.

Breaking down some of the challenges, he said a metric million British thermal unit is sold for $55 in international markets while the same unit goes for as low as $3.77 in Nigeria. This, he said would continue to discourage potential investors from committing their funds to the initiative.

He said “A lot of gas producers would rather sell their gas to the international markets, rather than keep it for the domestic market. Even before the global energy crisis, it has always made more business sense for producers to sell gas to international markets (an estimated $55 per metric million British thermal units) and earn in US Dollars, as opposed to local/domestic markets which are priced in Naira (an estimated $3.77 per metric million British thermal units).”

He blamed this on the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP) that mandated gas companies to give waivers/subsidies to power generation plants.

“Another factor to consider is also the Nigerian Gas Master Plan (NGMP), which gives waivers/subsidies to power generation plants to get gas at the lowest possible price under the national gas pricing policy”, he claimed.

Kayode stated that major factors like Business environment, policies, cost, and market factors will have to be addressed for the Buhari administration to end gas flaring this year-end.

He said “If I am an investor and I want to trap gas from a production site, what are the terms for selling to the power plants to make profits? We already know how some power generation plants are unable to meet up with their financial obligations for gas supplies.”

On the issue of cost, he said some crude oil producers prefer to flare gas than process it because of the huge investment involved in trapping and processing it.

He said “There is also an issue of cost on the part of crude oil producers who would rather flare the gas than trap and process it, and the investors who will build gas processing plants, will they think it’s a worthwhile investment due to the fiscal regime that does not protect the gas producers?”

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