With its initiatives in the energy sector, Türkiye aims to become a global hub for determining natural gas reference prices, the country's president said on Friday.
"Our aim is to transform our country into a global center where the natural gas reference price is determined as soon as possible," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a ceremony marking the completion of a project to expand a subterranean gas storage facility near Istanbul.
The country's northwestern region of Thrace bordering both Greece and Bulgaria will become and especially important hub for both natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the increasing capacity of LNG and underground gas storage, he added at the event in the district of Silivri.
Erdogan said that Ankara was in contact with Moscow, a major natural gas producer and exporter, underlining that they would take the necessary steps to make Türkiye an energy hub.
Also highlighting the importance of storage facilities as European countries faced the prospects of energy shortage, Erdogan said that with its expansion, the Silivri Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility was now the largest in Europe with a capacity of 4.6 billion cubic meters (bcm).
With the expansion, total natural gas storage capacity increased by almost 50% in the underground facility, with the amount gas stored rising from 3.2 bcm to 4.6 bcm by the year-end, he added.
On its own, the facility "will be able to meet a quarter of demand, even in (periods of) our country's most intensive consumption," Erdogan said, adding that up to 45 million cubic meters of gas can be injected into the Silivri Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility in a single day.
Türkiye will continue to take all measures to keep at bay the problems caused by the global energy crisis in Europe in the short and medium term, and problems that will slow down the development goals in the long term, Erdogan underlined.
Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had discussed how the countries work jointly on building a natural gas hub in Türkiye's Thrace region.
After talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin earlier this year, Erdogan had announced that Ankara and Moscow would work together on building a natural gas hub in Thrace after a proposal from Russia.
Türkiye's natural gas demand last year hit 60 billion cubic meters.