Highlights of Turkish energy market in 2018
The developments in the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, TurkStream Natural Gas Pipeline and the opening of Turkey’s biggest oil refinery, STAR, marked the top news stories in Turkey’s energy sector in 2018.
European part of TANAP becomes operational in 2020
The 1,850 km TANAP is the largest section of the 3,500 kilometer Southern Gas Corridor that was officially inaugurated during a ceremony held in Baku on May 29 with the participation of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.
TANAP, with around $8 billion of investment, will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Turkey and 10 billion to Europe per year. The European part of the project is expected to become operational in 2020, upon the completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which will connect with TANAP at the Turkish-Greek border.
STAR refinery to meet 25 percent of Turkey’s processed oil products needs
On Friday, October 19, Turkey’s biggest oil refinery, STAR, officially opened in the western coastal province of Izmir with the attendance of Erdogan and Aliyev. Production at the refinery, the largest investment in Turkey for Azerbaijan’s state oil company, SOCAR, at a cost of $6.3 billion, began on August 3 with a crude oil processing capacity of 10 million tonnes after the arrival of the refinery’s first crude oil cargo ship, Absheron, loaded with 80,000 tonnes of feedstock.
In 2018, refining of around two million tonnes of crude oil is expected at the refinery, which will increase to 10 million tonnes at full capacity. According to the official website of Turkey’s leading petrochemical company, PETKIM, the STAR Refinery will meet more than 25 percent of Turkey’s processed oil product needs upon start-up.
TurkStream offshore sect on completed
On January 29, more than half of the first line of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project to deliver 35 percent of Turkey’s gas needs was completed, Gazprom officials said. On August 8, Gazprom laid down 1,500 kilometers of the pipeline’s length across two lines, corresponding to about 80 percent of the total length of the pipeline, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller confirmed.
The project has a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters. The first part of the project, with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters, will transfer gas to Turkey from Russia. The first line of the TurkStream reached the Turkish shore off Kiyikoy in northwest Turkey on April 29 and the launch of the second line is expected in 2019.
The construction of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is on schedule
On December 14 this year, the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) granted the country’s first nuclear power plant, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant’s (NPP) project company, Akkuyu Nuclear, a “limited works permit” for the construction of the plant’s second unit, Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation company and major consortium partner for the plant, announced. The NPP was also granted an electricity generation license for a period of 49 years from the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority on June 15.
Erdogan stated in early December 2018 that the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear plant was on schedule and that the second would be built in the Black Sea province of Sinop while a third plant is planned for construction in the northwestern Thrace region.
A second seismic vessels starts drilling
Turkey purchased a second drilling vessel to explore domestic oil and gas reserves in order to become more energy independent. On June 7, Turkey’s first drilling vessel, Fatih, arrived near the city of Antalya to start the country’s first deep drilling project in the Mediterranean Sea. On December 8, the new Energy Minister, Fatih Donmez, announced a second drilling vessel that was purchased by Turkey was expected to arrive in the Mediterranean by the end of January 2019. The minister confirmed that Turkey’s two seismic vessels, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa and MTA Oruc Reis, were continuing seismic surveys in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Donmez announced that Turkey started its first deep-sea drilling offshore from Antalya on October 30, while drilling offshore from Mersin started on November 26.
Salt Lake storage facility to increase capacity to 5 billion cubic meters
On June 27, the World Bank and China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved a total of $1.2 billion in credits for Turkey’s Tuz Golu (Salt Lake) underground gas storage facility. Former Energy Minister Albayrak said Turkey would gradually increase the storage capacity to reach 5.4 billion cubic meters before 2023. He added that 10 billion cubic meters of storage capacity would be reached with the expansion of the Silivri natural gas storage facility located west of Istanbul.
Turkey’s Salt Lake gas storage facility located in the Sultanhani district in the province of Aksaray, 40 kilometers from the Salt Lake, was officially opened on February 10, 2017. Its storage capacity is set to increase from one billion cubic meters to as much as five billion cubic meters per year.
Operations for second floating liquefied natural gas unit starts
On February 8, Turkey began operations of its second floating liquefied natural gas unit (FSRU) with 20 million cubic meters of send-out capacity per day. The FSRU docked at a port in Dortyol, Hatay, a province in the Mediterranean region. The country aims to reduce dependency on pipeline gas through FSRUs and, therefore, these units are docked at ports close to regions with higher gas consumption. Turkey’s first FSRU was launched in Aliaga, Izmir in December 2016 at a time when the country experiences extra gas capacity needs to meet the increased consumption due to the very cold weather conditions at that time.