The CEO of the Hungarian Gas Storage Company, Laszlo Fritsch, said yesterday that Turkey's role in the energy sector has increased and if projects such as the proposed Turkish Stream and Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project pass through Turkey, it also has to have storage facilities for pipelines in order to become an energy hub.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Fritsch said that Hungary is the leading country in European gas storage and can service almost the entire region.
Fritsch said that the closest gas storage facility to Turkey and Greece is located in Hungary and added that while discussions were held to establish a facility at the border, but due to various regulations that cannot be overcome the project was terminated. "While geographically all countries are open and there are no obstacles, certain regulations are still preventing this project," Fritsch said. He also said that gas storage is an area that should be improved in Europe and said that if the Turkish Stream pipeline ends at the Greek border, then the problems in southeastern European countries will not be resolved and that lines that go beyond the Greek border are required. "If you have pipelines, you also need storage facilities. Ukraine is acting as a transit country now but also has storage facilities. Turkey should have the same capacity. If there are multiple pipelines at various points, there should also be various storage facilities," Fritsch said.
He said that while gas storage is a profitable business, decreasing natural gas prices has also reduced storage prices causing profits to decline in the gas storage sector. He further said that Europe, especially countries such as Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, still have potential in the gas storage industry.
The Hungarian Gas Storage company has four underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of 4.5 billion cubic meters that can meet more than 55 percent of the maximum demand in winter.