Chairman's Message

Esteemed Stakeholders,

We are deeply saddened by the earthquake disaster centered in Kahramanmaraş on February 6, 2023, which had a severe impact on other provinces in the region. We wish blessings to the citizens who lost their lives, patience and condolences to their relatives, and we hope that all the wounded will recover as soon as possible.

With our belief that the wounds will be healed with solidarity in such times, we closely follow the developments in our provinces affected by the earthquake and continue to be in contact with the relevant public institutions and aid teams for all kinds of support. As Zorlu Holding, we have been working since the first day to stand by the disaster victims with all our means. So far, through our Group companies and the Mehmet Zorlu Foundation, we have provided aid to the region amounting to 250 million TL. From now on, we will increase our aid to 1 billion TRY with the container living space for 5,000 people and the schools we will build to stand by the people of the region. We will continue to work with the responsibility of contributing to the social and economic development of our country and society, as we have done for seventy years.

The year 2022 witnessed profound economic, social and political disruptions that affected the whole world. In addition to the highest inflation in four decades, tightening fiscal conditions in most countries and the worsening economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war has put pressure on the global economy. The tightening of policies by central banks, which turned to expansionary monetary and fiscal policies during the pandemic period, and policymakers' goals of bringing down inflation slowed down demand in all sectors on a global scale. This has resulted in a growing number of economies experiencing a slowdown or contraction in growth.

The global growth rate has decreased from 6 percent in 2021 to 3.2 percent in 2022 and is estimated to slow down to about 2.7 percent in 2023. These forecasts point to the weakest growth since 2001, excluding the global financial crisis and the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, and indicate a significant slowdown. In 2022, the global economy suffered two consecutive quarters of negative growth due to the slowdown in the US economy, the constriction in the Eurozone, the real estate sector crisis in China and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Global inflation was 4.7 percent in 2021 and 7.7 percent in 2022.

Energy was one of the sectors most affected by these developments. The global energy crisis, which escalated with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which holds more than 20 percent of the world's natural gas reserves, and brought the two main gas pipelines between Russia and the EU, "Nord Stream" and "Yamal", to a near standstill for the first time in their history, has had far-reaching effects on households, businesses and entire economies. In addition to the short-term actions taken by governments, long-term plans to reduce the risk of future blackouts and promote renewable energy have started to be developed.

As this global crisis and the natural gas problem, in which Europe plays a leading role, took center stage in energy market discussions in 2022, the struggle for survival replaced the struggle against the climate crisis in Europe. With the energy crisis in the region, the momentum of renewable energy investments, which had increased in the past years, has declined, while coal investments are on the rise and countries have decided to reopen nuclear power plants that have been closed one after another. LNG imports, which are meant to replace reduced natural gas supplies for European countries, have increased by 60 percent compared to the previous year, while the price of TTF gas has risen more than tenfold.

In the light of all these developments, we observe that while the sector's expectation at the global level was for a reduction in the regulatory impact, the expectation has now shifted towards increased public investment support in the sector to overcome the possible recession. On the other hand, with the transformation resulting from downsizing life trends, we see that distributed system needs are increasing, which requires accelerated infrastructure investments.

Although demand for fossil fuels will increase in the next few years due to the global crisis, the share of fossil fuels in global energy is expected to decline to below 75 percent by 2030 and to 60 percent by 2050. The effort to fully meet climate commitments is also a factor that will affect the ability to reduce demand for fossil fuels within targeted timeframes. At the same time, at this point, while efficiency and electrification-oriented businesses are taking center stage in the sector, the increasing importance of renewable energy sources is once again proved.

The global clean energy economy, which has witnessed developments such as the development and cost advantages provided by clean energy technologies, incentives for new technologies such as low-emission hydrogen, and the United States' Inflation Reduction Act, is growing day by day, supported and developed by Europe's increasing effort for clean energy and new policies.

The energy sector is rapidly moving towards the era of independent and decentralized renewable energy all over the world. As investments in areas such as supply security, digitalization, cyber security, blockchain, etc. expand with emerging technologies, the vital importance of renewable energy is better understood. International Energy Agency data shows that the expected growth in renewable energy in the next 5 years will be equal to the growth experienced in the world in the last 20 years. As Zorlu Enerji, we see that areas such as green certification, hybrid power plants, electric vehicle charging stations and energy efficiency, which we have been working on for years, are rapidly expanding their place in the sector, and in parallel, ESG studies have become the focus of the sectors all over the world, not only on paper but also in the field, and we are pleased with the pioneering work we have done on behalf of our sector.

In 2022, Turkey increased its emission reduction target from 21 percent to 41 percent by 2030 at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change. While 2038 was determined as the emission peak date, it was announced that emissions will start to decrease after 2038 and the net zero target will be achieved in 2053.

Within the scope of the National Energy Plan 2022, which will support both the economic growth and green energy transformation of our country and is prepared within the framework of the 2053 net zero emission target; an increase of approximately 39.5 percent in energy consumption is expected until 2035. It is stated that renewable energy sources, which have a share of 16.7 percent in primary energy consumption for 2020, will increase to 23.7 percent by 2035. The plan, which will take the green energy transformation "to the next level", aims to have 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030 with incentives to expand the electric vehicle ecosystem.

Energy demand is expected to continue to increase in the coming years due to economic growth and population growth. While it is predicted that investors interested in the energy sector will want to evaluate opportunities in the renewable energy sector instead of traditional energy sources such as oil and natural gas, it becomes important that investments include concepts such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting natural assets, supporting local communities and improving working conditions of employees.

The sustainability approach and values of companies that will invest in this area should be compatible with their ESG and financial goals. The needs and expectations of all stakeholders such as customers, employees and investors should be taken into account when setting these goals.

Zorlu Enerji closely follows the developments in 2022 and continues its efforts to develop its business model in line with global developments. Zorlu Enerji increased its performance rating from 57 points in 2021 to 61 points this year in the ESG assessment, which measures environmental impacts, social practices and corporate governance performance, and registered its rating as "advanced". I believe that Zorlu Enerji, which is preparing for the future with its ESG-based regenerative business model approach, will be better prepared for economic vulnerabilities and climate risks.

As until today, we will continue to share the value we create with our stakeholders through our highly qualified human resources, innovative solutions and investments in projects focused on energy supply security and sustainability.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to our employees, our shareholders, our valuable business partners and all our stakeholders, whose constant support we feel, and to our employees, who, as always, showed high motivation despite the challenging conditions in 2022 and played a role in bringing uninterrupted energy to the farthest points of the country. I sincerely wish that the year 2023, when we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of our Republic, will bring well-being, health, peace and prosperity to the whole world, especially to our country.



Board Chairman