The national energy and mining policy, announced in early April by Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, focuses on domestic resources, decrease energy dependency on imported resources by diversifying energy supply through increasing investments in areas such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) and by expanding the storage capacity of oil and natural gas storage.
Turkey occupies a unique geographic position, extending into Asia and Europe, which provides it with opportunities in many areas, especially in energy. As it is located on the transit route of countries that supply and demand energy, Turkey aims to convert its geographical advantages into opportunities. The national energy strategy clearly reflects the country's determination on energy, including security of supply, indigenization of energy and formation of a foreseeable energy market.
Turkey has accelerated its operations and the search for a wide array of energy resources with the best utilization of local renewable resources and a survey of the surrounding the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, where the country is currently engaging in a seismic survey with two vessels, the Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa and the Oruç Reis.
Moreover, the country has also concentrated on solar power, wind power, natural gas, mining, oil, nuclear power, domestic electricity and domestic coal within the framework of its national strategy.
Turkey is set to become a driving force for the institution of regional and global allies for the production, distribution and share of energy as the country is a significant contact point between the Middle East, Caucasia, Caspian Sea, and Russia – a region with abundant oil and gas reserves covering three-quarters of the world's reserves and developed Western countries.
Greens, renewables to deliver
A tender for the Wind Energy Renewable Energy Resource Area (YEKA) project, which took place in early August highlights many important aspects of Turkey's domestic and renewable energy strategy.
The price of $3.48 per kilowatt-hour determined by the Turkish-German consortium of Siemens Gamesa, Türkerler and Kalyon for the YEKA contract is a record price worldwide and is expected to decrease Turkey's energy imports of nearly $55 billion per year, reducing energy costs both for the state and households. The 1,000 megawatts (MW) power plant will provide greener energy, lower electricity prices and affect consumers positively.
In addition, the state is also expected to save $270 million annually by using YEKA.
The consortium will invest over $1 billion in wind facilities. With the introduction of domestic wind power plants, a minimum of 3 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity will be generated each year and the electricity requirements for approximately 1.1 million houses will be met annually.
In late March, Turkey held a tender for the Karapınar YEKA (Renewable Energy Resource Areas) to be founded in the Central Anatolian city of Konya and a consortium led by Kalyon Energy and Hanwha Q Cells won the bidding for the establishment and operation of a 1000-megawatt power plant, a photovoltaic solar module plant and a research and development (R&D) center as well as electrical energy and solar module production activities.
An estimated $1.3 billion will be invested in the project. Within the scope of the Karapınar solar power project, a plant with an annual production capacity of a minimum 500 megawatts will be built in Karapınar. Capacity will be gradually raised to 1,000 megawatts through R&D activities over the next decade. The photovoltaic modules at the plant will be produced at an onsite factory, which will be built within 21 months from the contract signing date.
Poised to be the world's largest plant with a 1,000 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar power generation, Karapınar, which will be constructed on a nearly 2,000-hectare area, will produce 1.7 billion kWh of electricity, which is enough to be used in 600,000 houses.
Speaking to Daily Sabah, Zorlu Solar Chairman Evren Evcit said the key to growth in solar energy is an efficient R&D strategy and a strong environment.
Emphasizing that Turkey has much stronger potential in solar energy compared to other countries, Evcit said: "We should develop an efficient R&D strategy and a strong ecosystem to benefit from this potential. We can reveal the energy potential of Turkey with a strategic route map to which both the public and private sectors contribute."
Evaluating developments in the sector as well as Turkey's potential success in solar energy, Evcit emphasized the importance of R&D in the development of solar energy systems.
"Zorlu Group is essentially engaged in industry and production. We are well aware of the significance and necessity of R&D to become successful in industrialism," he said, adding: "For that reason, we have positioned R&D at the core of our business processes. In this respect, we believe R&D should be given utmost importance to develop solar energy systems in our country. Thus, our government's R&D strategies in the field of solar energy are crucial.
"Today, we should all determine what kind of plans and strategies we implement in 20 to 25 years, especially with regard to domestic production of panels and modules in line with the National Energy Policy."
Indicating that solar energy systems continue to develop in Turkey, Evcit said he believes they will be in a much better position in the future by supporting the sector, trusting in the country and with the support of their dynamic investors.
"Compared to other countries, we are in an advantageous position since we have much more solar radiation in Turkey. We should develop an efficient R&D strategy and a strong ecosystem to benefit from this potential. We can reveal the solar energy potential of Turkey with a strategic route map that both the public and private sectors contribute to. In this way, we can reach a point in the long run where our solar energy ecosystem can stand on its own feet without any incentives in the field of solar energy," Evcit said.
Turkey to expand capacity
with 3 nuclear power plants
Energy and Natural Minister Berat Albayrak announced in early August that between 2023 and 2030, Turkey will put three nuclear power plants – the Akkuyu, Sinop and one other whose location has not been officially announced yet – into operation. These nuclear power plants, once operational, are planned to meet 10 percent of the country-wide electricity consumption, the minister said.
Emphasizing the importance of nuclear power for the national energy supply, Minister Albayrak stated that the operational nuclear power plants will be greatly beneficial for the energy needs of the industry, saying that Turkey will be more active in the realization of nuclear projects.
"Before the end of this year, we will lay the ground for the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. The efficiency of nuclear energy exceeds 90 percent," Albayrak said and cited the partnership with Japanese firms on the construction of the second nuclear power plant in the Black Sea city of Sinop.
Currently there are plans for three nuclear power plants on Turkey's agenda. In May 2010, Turkey and Russia struck a deal for the $20-billion Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant project in the Mediterranean city of Mersin. Dependent on imports for almost all of its energy, Turkey has embarked on an ambitious nuclear program, commissioning Rosatom in 2013 to build four 1,200-megawatt (MW) reactors.
In June, Russia's state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom and the Turkish consortium Cengiz-Kolin-Kalyon (CKK) signed a deal for the transfer of shares. At the ceremony organized within the scope of the "IX International Nuclear Energy Forum ATOMEXPO," it stipulated that the latter will acquire a 49-percent stake in the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant.
The plant, where the first reactor will start working in 2023 as announced before by Minister Albayrak, will produce approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity every year, once completed. The power plant will have a service life of 60 years.
On May 3, 2013, an intergovernmental agreement on nuclear power plant construction and cooperation for the Sinop Nuclear Power Plant, which is the second nuclear power plant project in Turkey, was signed with Japan.
As stipulated by the agreement, the Turkey Electricity Generation Company (EÜAŞ) will hold a 49 percent stake in the plant while a Japanese and French company will have 30 and 21 percent stakes, respectively. The project is estimated to cost more than $16 billion according to Japanese sources.
The Sinop nuclear power plant will have a total 4,480 megawatt capacity of electricity generation with four reactors each having a 1,120 megawatt capacity.
Moreover, despite yet no official announcement by the government, some sources have claimed that the third plant will be constructed in the İğneada district in the northwestern province of Kırklareli and the preparatory works on a third nuclear power have been initiated in accordance with previous announcements from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Second floating LNG terminal
to be operational in November
A second floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) for 263,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is scheduled to be operational in November with aims to contribute to the country's energy supply security.
According to information obtained from Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, another important project to improve the security of Turkey's natural gas supply will soon come to fruition, in accordance with the National Energy and Mining Policy.
After Turkey's first FSRU became operational in late December 2016, a leasing agreement was signed between Turkey's Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) and Japanese transporter company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) for the second FSRU.
The floating unit is expected to be operational in November and will help meet the increasing domestic demand for natural gas.
The floating terminal will also help to ensure resource diversification with the advantages of the swiftly rising global LNG market. The second FSRU vessel will be 345 meters long and have a capacity of 263,000 cubic meters for LNG storage, meaning that the vessel will be able to store 167 billion cubic meters of gas that will be ready for immediate use when the vessel is full. The u
nit will be able to compress 21 million cubic meters into the system per day.
The terminal will be located in the Mediterranean Sea and is expected to alleviate the risks to the natural gas supply which emanate from systemic problems or relations with exporting countries.
Turkey's regasification capacity from LNG was 34 million cubic meters in 2015. The capacity increase at the Egegaz Terminal in 2016 and the integration of the first FSRU into the system increased that capacity to 64 million cubic meters.
As part of ongoing operations for capacity expansion at the LNG terminals at Egegaz and Marmara Ereğlisi, the figure will nearly double, reaching 117 million cubic meters.
The first FSRU, the GDF Suez Neptune, has a storage capacity of 145,000 cubic meters of LNG and can supply over 5.3 billion cubic meters of gas annually to the national system.
Turkey's total LNG consumption is 55 billion cubic meters per year, most of which is imported from Qatar with some imports from Algeria and Nigeria.
Moreover, in a bid to secure natural gas supply and establish a gas hub, Turkey is engaging in two important natural gas pipeline projects. The first is Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP), which will carry Azeri gas to European markets via Turkey.
Initially, the investment budget for TANAP was estimated at $11.7 billion, but with the help of low oil prices, it was reduced to $8.5 billion.
The second is TurkStream, which was formalized with an agreement signed in Oct. 2016 between Turkey and Russia. The project has an estimated cost of 11.4 billion euros.