Turkey - Energy and power

The bituminous coal field at Zonguldak on the Black Sea coast produces excellent coking coal. In 2000, output of coal totaled 74.2 million tons (about 90% soft coal). In recent years, Turkey has had to import several times as much petroleum as it produced. As of 1999, oil provided nearly half of Turkey's energy requirements, and about 90% of oil supplies were imported. In 2001, production of crude oil came to 56,142 barrels per day, while consumption totaled 617,000 barrels per day. Oil accounted for 42% of primary energy consumption as of 2002. In 2000 natural gas consumption was 14.7 billion cu m, or about 17% of its primary energy consumption. In the same year, natural gas production was 651 million cu m.

Turkey's geographical location makes it a natural transshipment route between the major oil producing areas in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus on the one hand, and consumer markets in Europe on the other. Oil is shipped via supertankers through the Bosporus, the narrow strait that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Botas, a joint Turkish-Iraqi venture with its headquarters in Ankara, created a system of oil pipelines running from Iraq to Turkey, thus bypassing the Persian Gulf. The pipeline was shut down during the 1991 Gulf War, but in February 1996 Turkey and Iraq agreed to reopen the pipeline if Iraq and the UN could reach an agreement regarding the exchange of Iraqi oil for humanitarian aid. In 1998, it was reported that Iraq was smuggling up to 100,000 barrels per day of fuel and fuel products into Turkey.

Hydroelectric and thermal power plants in 2000 produced 119 billion kWh of electricity, of which 74.1% was from thermal, 25.7% from hydropower, and less than 1% from other renewable sources. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 114.2 billion kWh. Total installed capacity in 2001was 27.2 million kW. In the 1960s, lignite and water increased in importance as sources of energy, while coal and diesel oil dropped, but from the 1970s into the early 1980s, the importance of oil increased relative to other sources. In the 1980s, lignite again came to play an increasing role. Privatization of state assets has been underway since 1986, and Turkey's electricity sector, which is over 90% state-owned, is a chief target of this effort. Turkey's Electricity Market Law, passed in 2001, was a major step in the privatization of the power industry and the creation of a free market for power production and distribution.

Between 1980 and 1994, Turkish electric power demand grew at an average annual rate of 9.1%, among the highest such rates in the world. Continuing electricity shortages, resulting in frequent blackouts and brownouts, have made it a priority for Turkey to increase electrical capacity. As of 2002, the government was planning to nearly double the country's generating capacity by 2020 by adding more than 23,000 MW in additional power. Geothermal power could supply up to an estimated 31.5 million kW of additional capacity, but little progress has been made on exploiting the potential.

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