Turkey expands natural gas storage to raise capacity to 400 mcm per day

Turkey is planning to increase its daily natural gas capacity from the current 223 million cubic meters (mcm) to 400 mcm over the next five years to meet rising demands. In line with this, capacity expansion studies at the Lake Tuz storage facility and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals are being conducted, while plans to activate a second floating LNG plant are already underway.

Turkey is currently able to supply 223 mcm of natural gas per day to its national network via a floating LNG vessel (FSRU), which started operations in December 2016 in Aliağa, İzmir.In the first stage of the expansion, a second floating LNG vessel, which will be owned by Turkey’s Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ), will be commissioned by the end of this year to provide 20 mcm of additional natural gas to the system.

The second floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) will be docked at either the Port of Tarsus in the Mediterranean or the Port of Saros in Thrace, suppling gas to the national system. Moreover, the daily gas compression capacity of the Egegaz LNG terminal in İzmir’s Aliağa region will be increased from 24 mcm to 40 mcm this year. The daily capacity of BOTAŞ’s Marmara Ereğlisi LNG Terminal will be increased from 22 to 27 mcm within the next year.

The Silivri Natural Gas Storage Facility, which can supply 25 mcm of gas per day to the system with its current natural gas storage capacity, will be increased to 75 mcm per day by 2020. The annual storage capacity of the Silivri Natural Gas Storage Facility will be increased from 2.3 billion to 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2020.

The Lake Tuz Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility, opened by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will have a working gas capacity of 550 mcm in the first stage. While this amount is currently stored in six completed caverns, the total operational gas capacity will reach 1 bcm upon the completion of six additional caverns.

When the facility begins operating at full capacity on the specified date in 2020, 44 mcm of natural gas will be supplied to the system per day. In addition, the capacity expansion projects in the facility, announced by President Erdoğan, will be completed in 2022. 80 mcm of gas will be supplied to the national grid system per day from the facility, which will reach a total natural gas storage capacity of 5.4 bcm with an additional investment of US$2 billion.

This capacity will be stored in a total of 60 artificial caves. As a result, for the first time, a gas storage facility’s operation will continue while the capacity expansion construction is being carried out within the same facility.

Turkey’s daily capacity will reach 394 mcm with the addition of 171 mcm in total. The said amount will gradually be added in the medium term with 41 mcm this year during the first stage, along with new investments in natural gas storage and LNG.

Meanwhile, considering the fact that the daily contribution of Azeri gas – which will be delivered to Turkey through the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) starting in mid-2018 – is expected to be 5.7 mcm in the first stage, the daily supply amount will reach 400 mcm. Starting at an annual capacity of 2 bcm, TANAP’s capacity will increase gradually every year, reaching 6 bcm per year and 17 mcm per day by 2021.

Pointing out that natural gas consumption is increasing, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said: “On the first Monday after the new year, the record was broken with 232 mcm. We managed it smoothly.” Turkey’s daily natural gas consumption is estimated to be around 300 million cbm by 2022.

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