London, 20 December (Argus) — Turkish gas grid operator Botas has instructed state-run and independent gas-fired power plants to limit their contractual gas use further to just 25pc as of tomorrow at 08:00 local time (05:00 GMT).
Botas had instructed private power plants to halve their gas use as of 14 December, while the state-run Euas and Tetas plants have halved their gas consumption since 24 November, following a drop in Iranian gas flows into Turkey on 22 November.
Gas burn for power fell to 19.8mn m³/d on 14-18 December — or just 10.2pc of total gas use — from 36.2mn m³/d – or 18.8pc of the total — earlier in the month, energy ministry data show.
Botas manages limitations in the current gas transmission system through linepack management, and instructs power plants to limit their contractual gas use when residential demand peaks. The system struggles when demand for gas exceeds 200mn-210mn m³/d but this will increase with the start-up of the LNG floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Aliaga in coming days. The operator may also introduce gas supply limitations to organised industrial zones if those to power utilities are not sufficient.
Working-day gas use averaged 196.2mn m³/d last week, hitting 205.3mn m³/d on 16 December, despite limitations to power plants.
Three LNG spot cargoes are scheduled for delivery into Turkey's 4.4mn t/yr Aliaga terminal in coming days. Two Nigerian cargoes on board the 177,000m³ LNG Lagos II and 145,700m³ LNG Benue will arrive on 24 and 27 December, respectively. And the 155,000m³ GDF Suez Point Fortin left Norway's 4.2mn t/yr Snohvit terminal on 16 December and is expected to arrive at Aliaga on 3 January.
The 155,000m³ Gaslog Santiago cargo unloaded at Aliaga yesterday, while the 126,190m³ Mourad Didoucheunloaded at the Botas-run Marmara Egrelisi terminal on 17 December.
The country's first LNG FSRU facility at Izmir's Aliaga started testing at the weekend and gas delivered from the unit into the system is expected to rise gradually to around 6mn-7mn m³/d by 22 December, with the first cargo after commissioning due at the beginning of January.
Power OTC up
The new instruction was sent after the bidding for the day-ahead market was closed today and had no impact on the Exist (Epias) day-ahead price for tomorrow, which turned at TL230.28/MWh, or TL46.31/MWh lower day on day. But prices could rise back to TL280/MWh levels, one participant said.
The front-month power base load rose by TL3.75/MWh intra-day to TL188.25/MWh following the new instructions to gas utilities. It closed at TL179/MWh yesterday.
Power grid operator Teias is also heard to be instructing large power users to reduce their consumption and is also cutting power in various regions to keep the system in balance, according to some participants, which could offset some of the upside on prices. Demand for power is peaking amid the cold spell, but power supply is limited because of gas supply limitations to power plants.