Providing a clean, efficient and relatively cheaper source of fuel and energy alternative, the use of natural gas began to spread across our country, in gradual but progressive steps, in the aftermath of the commencement of import activities, launched in 1987. Initially handled by BOTAŞ, activities embodying importation, sale and transmission ventured into a fast-track stage of deregulation and liberalization, pursuant to the provisions of the Natural Gas Law, published in the Official Gazette No. 24390 and dated May 2, 2001.
The privatization process involving the distribution channel has undergone a steady and rather expeditious progress as additional distribution regions were formed through the private sector entities, creating the infrastructure framework to make gas available to a substantial majority of our country’s populace. The first concrete step towards the privatization of the Natural Gas importation process was signified by the import contract transfer tender, organized towards the expiry of 2005. At the end of the tendering phase, import contracts pertaining to an annual-based total of 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas received through the Western Line were acquired by private sector enterprises, inclusive also of Bosphorus Gaz. Along with the private-sector importers effectually venturing into the market in 2009, the privately-owned wholesalers also staged their debut in the market-place, paving the road clear for the emergence of over 20 participants within 2012 in the natural gas wholesale territory, flanked by BOTAŞ.
Supplemented with the total volume of 6 billion cubic meters renewed by the privately-run companies, scheduled to commence from 2013 onwards, the share of the private sector in the country’s aggregate imports has surpassed over 20%. At this juncture, Bosphorus Gaz has reinforced its unchallengeable and indisputable leadership status by elevating its import quantity to above 2.5 billion cubic meters, on an annual basis. In addition, the first privately-owned LNG (“Liquefied Natural Gas”) importer began to operate in the market during the course of 2009, while the LNG terminals were made accessible by third parties as a result of the issuance of the “Network Code and Regulations” (“NCR”), which went into force in 2010.
In addition to the LNG terminals, fulfilling a critical function in balancing the seasonal and daily consumption irregularities, discrepancies and disparities, the Underground Storage Facility operated by TPAO in Silivri, near Istanbul, was also opened to the access of the third parties, under the provisions of the NCR which went into effect in 2012.