Turkey’s Tuz Lake gas storage facility, which is expected to increase capacity from 1.2 billion cubic meters (bcm) to as much as 5 bcm per year, was opened in an official ceremony on Feb. 10 in the Central Anatolian province of Aksaray.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thanked officials and businesspeople who took part in the development of the project, noting that another key investment would take place again in the same area.
“In addition to the facility with a 1.2 bcm of gas capacity, which we have opened today, we are also starting a new investment today. With this new investment, the gas storage capacity will increase up to 5.4 bcm. When this investment becomes online, Turkey’s daily gas storage capacity will rise to 80 million cubic meters,” he said.
The project is composed of 12 wells and is worth $700 million. From each well, a total of 40 million cubic meters of gas can be pumped into the country’s gas network on a daily basis.
The drilling of the first of the project’s 12 wells began in 2012 by state-run gas grid BOTAŞ and Chinese TTC.
BOTAŞ General Manager Burhan Özcan said Turkey’s gas consumption is around 50 bcm per year, from which 10 bcm are distributed to 13 million Turkish households.
“Therefore, we are going to store 12 percent of household consumption here. This has been a long and painful journey,” he said in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency.
Özcan said Turkey’s daily demand for the winter of 2016-2017 was 250 million cubic meters of gas.
“This was a record. The amount we can store with the Tuz Lake storage is around 44 million cubic meters per day,” he said.
He added that the giant facility will be able to easily support natural gas supplies and provide energy security for the country.
“We will not have any problems related to energy supply in the next chapter of our country,” Özcan said.
The daily capacity of the Marmara Ereğli LNG Facility will be increased from 18 million cubic meters to 27 million cubic meters, while at the same time 20 million cubic meters of natural gas can be supplied to the system at the end of 2016 with the FSRU plant that was commissioned in Aliağa in the Aegean province of İzmir.
The BOTAŞ official noted that the daily capacity of the private sector LNG plant in Aliağa would increase from 24 to 40 million cubic meters this year.
Özcan stated that restrictions on gas power plants did not cause electricity interruption because BOTAŞ prioritized supplies to domestic and industrial consumers.
“When the consumption of natural gas increases to a very high amount, we have shortages especially in our power plants so it does not interrupt the gas supplies to residential and industrial facilities,” he said.
He stressed that because of the simultaneous increase in coal, hydroelectric and renewable resources to the Turkish grid system at such high gas consumption periods, no power cuts had occurred.