Türkiye on its way to become energy hub: Minister

The natural gas deal with Bulgaria is a step forward in Türkiye's efforts to become an energy hub, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez has said.

"With this agreement, natural gas could be transmitted not only to Bulgaria but other countries via Bulgaria," Dönmez added.

On Jan. 3, Türkiye and Bulgaria signed an agreement for the transmission of up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year. The new deal covers a 13-year period.

Dönmez traveled to the Bulgarian capital Sofia to attend the signing ceremony. The gas deal was inked between the two countries by the general managers of the Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Company (BOTAŞ) and Bulgargaz.

"The deal means almost 20 billion cubic meters of gas trade in 13 years. We will also be able to provide service to all European countries via Bulgaria," Dönmez said.

The minister recalled that the natural gas agreement was signed only three weeks after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met his Bulgarian counterpart, Rumen Radev, in Istanbul.

Türkiye has been working over the past years to position itself as an energy hub, Dönmez said.

"We have plans to establish a natural gas trade center. We have largely completed our physical infrastructure for this initiative. The deal [with Bulgaria] means that we are reaping the first fruits of these efforts."

Dönmez reminded the energy cooperation between Türkiye and Bulgaria has a long history. "Türkiye received the first natural gas via Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. This pipeline has been offline over the past two years. Now the direction of gas flow will reverse," the minister said.

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