Turkey has found itself among the top three nations in the world that increased their liquified natural gas (LNG) imports the most throughout 2020, a report showed Friday.
With an annual growth of 1.3 million tons in LNG imports, Turkey came in first in Europe and third in the world just after China and India, according to the latest report of the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL).
The report also showed that Turkey became the fourth-largest LNG importer in Europe.
China ranked first with the highest increase in LNG imports of 7.2 million tons and India followed with 2.6 million tons, the data showed.
Turkey was followed by Taiwan with an increase of 1.1 million tons, South Korea with an increase of 700,000 tons, and Thailand with an increase of 600,000 tons.
Mexico and France were the countries that decreased LNG imports the most.
Turkey imported a total of 10.72 million tons of LNG last year, out of which 3.96 million tons were imported from Algeria and 1.32 million tons from Nigeria.
Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Cameroon, Norway, Egypt, the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago also supplied LNG to Turkey.
According to the report, 2020 was a year of two halves for Europe’s LNG imports.
“During the first half, the region acted as a market of last resort. During the second half, Europe recorded a decrease in LNG imports compared to the previous year due to a decrease in demand for natural gas because of lockdowns, while storages filled up and U.S. cargoes were canceled,” it said.
It was noted that the greatest declines in net LNG imports were seen in France by 16.1% and Belgium by 36.9%.
However, Turkey recorded the highest increase at 14.4% by 1.35 million tons, the report showed.
Wishing to diversify its energy resources and lower its external dependence, Turkey has focused on the use of domestic and renewable resources in recent years.
The country, which diversifies LNG resources to avoid supply problems and natural gas interruptions, purchases high volumes of LNG and piped gas.
These purchases are stored at the country’s two onshore LNG import terminals – the Marmara Ereğlisi (BOTAŞ) LNG Terminal with an annual capacity of 5.9 million tons and the Egegaz LNG terminal with an annual capacity of 4.4 million tons.
A private sector floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is also used off the western province of Izmir’s Aliağa region.
The country’s first FSRU arrived in Turkey last week. Anchored off the port in Dörtyol in the southern province of Hata, Ertuğrul Gazi will be commissioned soon.
The vessel can store 170,000 cubic meters of LNG, equivalent to 102 million cubic meters in gas form, and has a regasification capacity of 28 million cubic meters per day.
To further enhance Turkey’s LNG capacity, infrastructure adaptations are underway at the Aliağa LNG import terminal to handle small-scale LNG vessels.
The works are scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
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