Government institutions in Turkey are continuing to take various measures to mitigate the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At its meeting on April 2, 2020, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) adopted a new decision (the “Decision”) accepting the COVID-19 pandemic as a “force majeure” event under Article 35 of the Electricity Market Licensing Regulation (the “Licensing Regulation”) and Article 19 of the Regulation on Unlicensed Electricity Production in the Electricity Market (the “Unlicensed Regulation”). The decision was published in the Official Gazette on April 4, 2020.
EMRA granted a one-off, three-month extension of the deadlines for the fulfilment of the following obligations for legal entities holding pre-license and production licenses (where the relevant deadline in question was on or after March 10, 2020): (1) Pre-licensing and pre-construction periods under production licenses and construction periods or the postponement periods for commitments set out in the provisional Article 15 of the Licensing Regulation; (2) Periods for the fulfilment of obligations during the pre-licensing period or due to production license amendments; 3) Periods for the fulfilment of obligations due to merger or division procedures; (4) Periods for the fulfilment of obligations for issuing a production license as a continuation of a previous license; (5) Periods for the submission of necessary information and documents for the pre-licensing or licensing applications; and (6) Periods regarding applications determined in article 18.2 of the License Regulation.
In addition, the EMRA also granted a one-time three-month extension for connection agreements pertaining to planned electricity generation facilities within the scope of the Unlicensed Regulation for connection agreements scheduled to expire on or after March 10, 2020. These new measures should have a positive impact on the energy industry and will ease the obligations of license holders, which should help business continuity.
For more information on how these new rules can apply to your business or extension application proceedings, contact your regular CMS advisor or Turkey CMS expert Dr. Done Yalcin.
By Done Yalcin, Partner, CMS Istanbul