Mergers and acquisitions throughout Turkey are on the cards in the natural gas distribution sector, the head of Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) said on Friday.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Yilmaz said that EMRA issued a new regulation to scrap the previous maximum limit of two regions in which a natural gas company was allowed to distribute gas.
"As a result of our regulation, we expect positive outcomes to reach a more integrated and productive natural gas distribution market. Therefore, mergers and acquisitions can take place among the [distribution] companies" Yilmaz said.
According to EMRA's data, 68 natural gas companies distribute natural gas to 12.4 million subscribers across Turkey.
Yilmaz explained that the new regulation would allow for more economies of scale, reduce costs and avoid time wastage while increasing efficiency in the natural gas distribution chain in Turkey.
In addition, Yilmaz also commented on a further regulation for the fuel sector instigated by EMRA to increase the minimum-blending limit of biodiesel in diesel oil to 0.5 percent.
According to Yilmaz, EMRA determined the 0.5 percent biodiesel limit by taking into consideration two variables - "environmental awareness" and "by increasing the consumption of domestic products".
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel similar to conventional or ‘fossil’ diesel. Biodiesel can be produced from straight vegetable oil, animal oil/fats, tallow and waste cooking oil. Biodiesel has many environmentally beneficial properties. The main benefit of biodiesel is that it can be described as ‘carbon neutral’. This means that the fuel produces no net output of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2).
"Energy importation is the biggest factor on Turkey's current account deficit. Domestic biodiesel blending with diesel oil will allow the use of more domestic resources. However, we have to act responsibly with regards to agricultural production [to produce biodiesel]. Therefore a sub-limit of 0.5 percent is just the beginning and it could rise to a 5 percent level in the future," Yilmaz said.
"There is no restriction to add more biodiesel right now but 0.5 percent is a minimum level," Yilmaz added.
By Muhsin Baris Tiryakioglu