Energy dependence to grow in Turkey

Energy dependence to grow in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Energy dependence to grow in Turkey

Turkey imports 90 percent of hard coal that it consumes, a US report says. As the coal-fired stations make important contribution to electricity generation, the government encourages exploitation of domestic lignite reserves. AA photo

recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggesting a significant widening in Turkey’s energy supply, indicates that the country’s foreign dependency is growing, with its energy use expected to double over the next decade. Turkey imports the vast majority of its oil, natural gas and hard coal supplies, says the report released on Feb. 1, which evaluates the past 10 years. 

“Concurrent with Turkey’s economic expansion, its crude oil consumption has increased over the last decade. With very limited domestic reserves, Turkey imports nearly all of its oil supplies,” the report said. Turkey has just six refineries with a combined processing capacity of 714,275 barrels per day.

In 2011, Turkey imported more than 90 percent of its total liquid fuels consumption. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Turkey’s imports are expected to double over the next decade. The majority of Turkey’s oil imports originated in Iran, which supplied about 51 percent of Turkey’s crude oil imports in 2011. Data through September 2012 showed that Iran retained the top spot among suppliers until then, but the imposition of sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports may change this, the report said. While Iraq is the second largest crude oil supplier to Turkey, Russia ranks third. 

Turkey is increasingly dependent on imports of natural gas, which is used mainly in the electric power sector, as its domestic consumption is rising each year. The Oil&Gas Journal estimated, as of Jan. 1, 2013, Turkish natural gas reserves at 218 billion cubic feet (Bcf). Turkey produced 27 Bcf of natural gas in 2011, relying almost exclusively on imports to meet domestic demand. Natural gas accounts for an increasing share of the energy mix in Turkey, having overtaken oil to become the most important fuel in terms of volume consumed, the report said.

Natural gas consumption reached a peak of more than 1.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2011, when Turkey imported the majority of it from Russia. Another 19 percent of the total came from Iran, the second-largest source country. 

Remarkable coal imports

Turkey imports about 90 percent of the hard coal mainly from Russia, Australia, and the United States, the report said, urging that the volumes of imported coal may rise in the future as coal’s importance for electricity generation increases. The hard coal is mined in only one location, the Zonguldak basin of northwestern Turkey. The Coal-fired power stations also remain an important energy source for Turkey.

Turkey’s lignite reserves make an important contribution to Turkey’s energy sector and power mix. The government has started a policy to encourage exploitation of Turkey’s domestic lignite reserves instead of natural gas for electricity generation. 

Turkey had previously signed a landmark deal with the United Arab Emirates to develop coal fields in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş’s Afşin-Elbistan neighborhood, where around 40 percent of its lignite is located. The project, worth nearly $12 billion, will generate 8,000 megawatts of electricity. Also, it has discovered 1.8 billion tons of lignite reserves in a Central Anatolian province of Konya , enough to fuel a thermal power station generating 5,000 megawatts of electricity for 
30 to 40 years.

EIA said both Turkey’s electricity consumption and generation had expanded. While Turkey’s total electricity generating capacity was 49.5 million kilowatts in 2010, the total net electricity generation amounted to 217 billion kWh in 2011. Turkey’s electricity demand increased by 70 percent between 2001 and 2010, with much of the growth occurring between 2002 and 2008.