Turkey decreased diesel imports for the first time by producing more diesel oil domestically, according to recent data from Turkish energy watchdog.
The country's diesel oil imports saw a 0.47 percent drop for the first time in January-August period compared to the same period last year, Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) data shows.
In the January-August period of last year, Turkey consumed 14.4 million tons and produced 5.9 million tons of diesel oil. During the same period this year, the country consumed 15.6 million tons and produced 7.2 million tons of diesel. Therefore, 1.3 million tons more production was seen while consumption rose by 1.2 million tons during this period.
Despite the ongoing consumption rise, the surplus production was used in the domestic market, and reducing for the first time the need for more diesel oil imports.
Turkey's refineries, generally designed to produce gasoline, faced complexities to meet the increasing demand from the rising number of diesel engines in recent years.
In 2014, TUPRAS, Turkey’s largest industrial enterprise and the seventh biggest refining company in Europe, started its Resid Upgrade Project (RUP) and built units to process low-value fuel oil and convert it to valuable products, such as diesel, LPG and gasoline.
After the RUP, the refinery's diesel production capacity increased by 2.9 million tons per year. According to Turkish EMRA's annual results, Turkey consumed 22.3 million tons of diesel oil, equal to 83.5 percent of the country's total oil consumption in 2016.
Moreover, the biggest investment in Turkey of the Azerbaijan state oil company SOCAR, the Star Refinery, will become operational in 2018.
This venture, which is Turkey's first private sector refinery, will produce 4.7 million tons and contribute to decreasing Turkey's diesel oil imports.
Turkey imported more than 12 million tons last year, according to EMRA's data.
By Muhsin Baris Tiryakioglu