* Turkey links gas prices to dollar
* Energy regulation authority hikes electricity prices
* Botas also hikes natural gas prices for residential use (Adds hikes to electricity and natural gas consumer prices)
By Orhan Coskun
ANKARA, July 31 (Reuters) - Turkey’s state pipeline operator Botas will hike the price of natural gas used for electricity production by 50 percent as of Wednesday, sources said.
The price hike was “inevitable” due to a weaker lira pushing oil and natural gas prices higher, as Turkey is mostly dependent on energy imports, energy sources told Reuters.
Earlier on Tuesday, the central bank hiked its crude oil price assumption to $73 from $68.
The increased natural gas prices are based on an exchange rate of 4.86 lira to the dollar, but the payments of producers will be calculated based on the official spot rate of the payment day, the sources said.
Botas said later on Tuesday it had raised natural gas prices for residential use by 9 percent effective Aug. 1.
Also on Tuesday, the energy regulation authority raised electricity prices by 14 percent for industrial use and by 9 percent for residential use effective Aug. 1, the country’s Official Gazette said.
Almost a third of Turkey’s total 293 billion megawatt power production came from natural gas power plants in 2017.
The price of natural gas for producers rose to 1,312 lira ($267) per 1,000 cubic metres, sources told Reuters.
$1 = 4.9129 liras Writing by Ece Toksabay, Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ali Kucukgocmen Editing by Dominic Evans and Emelia Sithole-Matarise