ANKARA, March 19. /TASS/. The implementation of the plan to create an international gas hub in Turkey will give the country an opportunity to export around 40 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said in a TRT TV channel broadcast, adding that the hub may start its operations within a year.
"We did not abandon our plans and it [the hub] may begin its work within a year. Now we have our own gas [from Black Sea deposits]. We consume around 55-60 bcm of gas annually, can have 100 bcm, and, if we plan it all properly, we will have 40 bcm of gas to export," the Turkish minister said.
He said that Turkey should not be treated as a gas transit country.
"It will be a country housing a hub of international gas trade, and it is planned to be built within a year," Donmez said.
The hub’s operations will be regulated by local laws, and necessary legislative amendments will most likely be introduced after the presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 14. The amendments have already been approved by a parliamentary commission.
Speaking at the Russian Energy Week forum in October, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed creating the largest gas hub in Europe in Turkey and redirecting the volume of gas, the transit of which is no longer possible through the Nord Stream, to this hub. According to him, it may imply building another gas pipeline system and creating a hub in Turkey, through which gas will be supplied to third countries, primarily European ones, if they are interested. Ankara welcomed this initiative and stated that it had a significant part of the infrastructure for creating a hub and a gas trading center in Istanbul.