Turkish Govt Shocks Citizens with Electricity Prices

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Turkish Govt Shocks Citizens with Electricity Prices

Wednesday, 2 October, 2019 – 10:30
A worker performs checks at Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, which is run by state-owned Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS), some 70 km (43.5 miles) from Adana, Turkey, February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo
Ankara – Saeed Abdelrazek
A new increase in electricity prices in Turkey for the second consecutive time in three months has enraged citizens.

The Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) announced Tuesday raising consumer electricity prices by 14.9 percent, knowing that the prices witnessed an equal raise in July.

After the new increase, users would pay starting October TRY71.22 (around USD14) for 100 kilowatt-hours. EPDK said, in a statement, that a key factor for increasing prices was the Electricity Distribution Co. changing its wholesale prices with the unit-cost of electricity inching up to 35 kurus.

The new move caused a withering criticism of the government on social media, with citizens expressing anger expressed anger at the power price rises which would increase burdens on Turkish households.

Earlier, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development issued a report pointing out that the electricity prices in Turkey rose by 307 percent since 2003, when the government of Justice and Development Party became in charge under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Last August, the government imposed a new increase in natural gas prices for the fourth time in less than one year by 15 percent for houses and 14 percent for industrial usage.

Economists criticized the new roadmap to implement the economic program, adding that the three goals announced by Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak are “unrealistic”.

Albayrak laid out on Monday Turkey’s targets in the New Economic Program (NEP) covering the 2020-2022 period. He stated that they trimmed the inflation forecast for the end of this year to 12 percent, from the current year’s predictions of 15.1 percent, and to 8.5 percent for 2020, 6 percent in 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022.

“Growth in 2019 will be 0.5 percent…After closing 2019 with an unemployment rate of 12.9 percent, we aim to reduce the figure to 11.8 percent next year, 10.6 percent in 2021 and 9.8 percent in 2022,” the minister said.

Economist Ugur Gurses commented on Albayrak’s roadmap, saying that he presented it to persuade his father-in-law (Erdogan) and not the people. The official target of growth is 5 percent by 2022 but the presented target for inflation is 12 percent for 2019, 8.5 percent, 6 percent and 4.9 percent for the three coming years respectively.

Former Turkish Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz said that the budget deficit estimates in 2020-2022 of 2.9, 2.5, and 1.5 percent are based on taxes collection, which in their turn will be provided by an anticipated growth of 5 percent in the coming three years.

Iraq Signs Deals with GCC Interconnection Authority to Transmit Electricity

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Iraq Signs Deals with GCC Interconnection Authority to Transmit Electricity

Monday, 16 September, 2019 – 10:30
Iraq’s Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khateeb speaks during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq December 11, 2018. Hadi Mizban/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
Baghdad – Fadhel al-Nashmi
Iraq signed Sunday a landmark deal with the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCC IA) for a transmission line.

Initially, the line would import 500 megawatts of electricity to its overstretched grid by 2020 and in competitive Gulf market prices, revealed the Iraqi Electricity Ministry.

The 300-kilometer transmission line would run from Kuwait to Iraq’s southern port of Faw and be financed by the GCC IA, according to the ministry.

Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb signed the deal, which comes amid other agreements signed with huge western firms under the strategy adopted by the ministry to reform and develop the sector, which has been suffering from a deteriorating power supply.

Iraq partly fills its power shortages by importing both electricity and natural gas from Iran.

Musab al-Mudarres, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Electricity Ministry, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Iraq seeks to become a promising market for energy by networking with the Gulf system and importing 500 megawatts by 2020, and being the link between the Gulf energy system and Europe’s.

Mudarres stressed that the ministry is working on a road map set to revitalize the energy sector, which depends on the assistance of giant firms such as General Electric (GE) and Siemens.

As for the volume of generated electricity and the target output of the ministry, the spokesperson said that Iraq has a power capacity of around 18,000 megawatts, including the amount imported through Iranian lines. But the ministry aims for 30,000 megawatts in the coming three to four years.

On Saturday, the ministry signed deals with Siemens and Orascom Construction to rebuild two power plants. Also, GE signed a new agreement with Mass Energy Group Holding (MGH) to help boost electricity generation to 4.5 megawatts.

China Eastern releases electronic baggage tag

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

China Eastern releases electronic baggage tag

China Eastern releases electronic baggage tag

Ti Gong

China Eastern Airlines releases a permanent electronic luggage tag at Hongqiao airport on Tuesday.

China Eastern Airlines released a permanent electronic luggage tag at Hongqiao airport on Tuesday that allows travelers to check-in and trace luggage using their mobile phones.

The carrier plans to release the first batch of 4,000 tags to its passengers on flights between Shanghai and Beijing.

The tag has a screen to show the passenger and flight information after coming in contact with a passenger’s electronic tags

smartphone. A chip embedded in the tag lets passengers follow the progress of their luggage on the phone.

“The new tag is convenient and I no longer need to remove the traditional paper tags often stuck tightly on the luggage,” said Li Rui who was one of the first travelers with an electronic tag on a Shanghai-Beijing flight during a trial period.

“It will be better if other carriers can also recognize the tag,” he added.

Some passengers expressed concern. “What if the tag goes missing during transportation,” said a passenger from Beijing surnamed Liu. “The traditional paper tag is difficult to remove but also hard to get lost,” she added.

“It will be better if other carriers can also recognize the tag,” said Li Rui who was among the first batch of travelers experienced the electronic tag on a Shanghai-Beijing flight.

China Eastern platinum card holders can apply for the electronic tag at ticket counters. Other passengers can apply through the airline’s app from Thursday. Frequent travelers between Shanghai and Beijing will have priority.

The service will be expanded to other flights and mainly the hub airports in the future, said Shen Chenyi, general manager of the airline’s luggage control center.

The airline also plans to make bespoke luggage tags for passengers, he added.

The electronic tags were in use during the first test run at Beijing’s new mega airport on July 20 as the sprawling air hub gears up for its opening in September. China Eastern, Shanghai Airlines and China United Airlines operated 12 simulated flights and opened 16 check-in counters at the Daxing International Airport for the exercise.

Previously, China Southern also announced the release of its electronic luggage tags to replace traditional paper tags.

China Eastern releases electronic baggage tag

Ti Gong

The tag, which doesn’t have a battery, has a screen showing passenger and flight information after it is in contact with a passenger’s smartphone.

China Eastern releases electronic baggage tag

Ti Gong

A China Eastern passenger shows his electronic luggage tag at Hongqiao airport on Tuesday.