Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday announced that the country's plans to develop the domestic energy sector would include the purchase of a second drilling vessel to conduct offshore exploration of hydrocarbons in waters surrounding the country.
Erdogan, speaking at a press conference in Ankara, said that efforts would be tripled to research, explore and exploit potential domestic natural resources. The ministry will also conduct deep exploration activities and deep drilling in the Mediterranean with the new drilling vessel, as a part of the effort.
As part of the country's 100-day action plan, he said that private corporations would run public non-operational coalfields located in the Aegean towns of Soma and Tuncbilek.
The plan also involves renewables through a series of tenders for solar power plants with a total capacity of 3 gigawatts (GW) with an anticipated investment of nearly $4.8 billion.
In addition, he announced that another tender would be launched to build a thermal power station in Eskisehir’s Alpu town in central Turkey with an installed capacity of 1 GW.
In reference to the country's nuclear power ambitions, he said the construction of Turkey's first nuclear plant, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is on schedule and that the second would be built in Sinop in the Black Sea province. He added that plans also comprise the development of a third nuclear power plant in the Thrace region of Turkey.
Russian State Nuclear Energy Agency, Rosatom will build the first plant comprising four units, each of which has a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.
It will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity to meet about 10 percent of Turkey's electricity needs.
The Akkuyu NPP has an operational date set for the first reactor by 2023, while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.
- Natural gas projects
He noted that Turkey has already launched the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project in 2018.
The 1,850-kilometer-long TANAP was officially inaugurated on May 29 during a ceremony held in Baku with the participation of Azerbaijan's president.
TANAP, with around $8 billion of investment, will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of Azeri gas to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe per year. The European part of the project is expected to become operational in 2020.
Erdogan said that works are ongoing for the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project as well as other projects in the region.
The TurkStream project will carry 31.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey from Russia. The first line of the project will meet Turkey's energy demands and the second line with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters will transfer gas to Europe via Turkey.
Erdogan stressed that access to natural gas use would now reach two more cities within 100 days with the gas network extending to Sirnak and Artvin cities, which will now provide gas to 80 cities in total.
"We are also receiving offers to increase Turkey's Tuz Golu (Salt Lake) underground gas storage facility's capacity to 600 million cubic meters from 450 million cubic meters," he said.
By Murat Temizer and Hale Turkes