STATEMENT OF AMBASSADOR RAUF ENGİN SOYSAL, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, In Response to the Address by the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič (1146th Permanent Council)

Rauf Engin Soysal 18.05.2017

Thank you Mr. Chairperson.

We warmly welcome the Vice-President of the European Commission responsiblefor Energy Union, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, to the Permanent Council, and thank himfor his interesting presentation.

Energy is a prominent element of the global agenda, and a crucial determinant in the formulation of economic, political and environmental aspects of the global outlook.

Located at the crossroads between major energy producers and consumer markets, Turkey is not only an end market, but also a reliable transit country, offering short, secure and sustainable routes for the energy resources of its energy rich neighborhood.

Its rapidly growing economy has made Turkey one of the fastest growing energy markets in the world. As a country with growing energy demand, Turkey attaches importance to securing its supplies. To this end, Turkey aims to diversify its energy supply routes and source countries, increase the share of renewables, include nuclear in its energy mix, take significant steps to increase energy efficiency, and contribute to Europe’s energy security as well.

Thanks to its huge potential of renewable energy, Turkey is ranked 7th in the world in terms of geothermal potential. Alongside its geothermal power capacity, Turkey also places emphasis on developing wind and solar energy. In this context, as stated in the National Renewable Energy Action Plan, the share of renewables is planned to increase to 30% of electricity generation.

Turkey is geographically located in close proximity to more than 75% of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves. This unique location provides opportunities for ensuring our own energy supply security, and also bestows us responsibility with regard to regional energy security.

As stated in our energy strategy, we aim at strengthening our position within the East-West and South-North Energy Corridors, and becoming an energy trade hub.

Within this framework, Turkey has developed the East-West Energy Corridor together with Azerbaijan and Georgia. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline, carrying 1 million barrel of Azeri oil daily, was followed by the South Caucasus Natural Gas Pipeline and its extension to the city of Erzurum in Turkey. The Southern Gas Corridor, on the other hand, envisages the creation of an alternative southern gas transportation route to Europe. The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which will deliver the natural gas originating from the Shah Deniz 2 gas field of Azerbaijan to Europe, constitutes the backbone of this corridor. The pipeline could include additional Azeri volumes plus Turkmen gas.

The Southern Gas Corridor will help many countries in Central and South East Europe to diversify their sources of gas, boosting their energy security. When the route opens in 2019/2020, it will allow around 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas to flow along the route, possibly rising to 80-100 bcm in the long term.In this way, the Southern Gas Corridor has the potential to meet up to 20% of the EU's gas needs.

Energy figures prominently on the agenda of Turkey-EU relations. It is only natural, therefore, that Turkey joined the Energy Community as an observer in 2006. Within the framework of Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU, the screening process for the Energy Chapter was completed in 2007. The Turkey-EU High-Level Energy Dialogue was launched under the co-chairmanship of our former Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Taner Yıldız, and your good self, Mr. Šefčovič, on 16 March 2015 in Ankara. The Turkey-EU statement issued after the first summit meeting held in Brussels on 29th November 2015 has welcomed the establishment of the High Level Energy Dialogue and Strategic Energy Cooperation. The second session of this dialogue was held on 28 January 2016 in İstanbul.Discussions focused on integrating the Turkish energy market with the EU, energy efficiency and renewables, climate change, gas markets and interconnections, as well as the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, and TANAP.

We are pleased that the launch of the High-Level Energy Dialogue injected renewed political momentum to our energy cooperation and believe this will lead to concrete actions and projects that will contribute to the energy security.

Let me conclude by wishing success to Mr. Šefčovič in his work and by this way enhancing the energy security of the OSCE region.

Thank you.