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Turkey to increase ENTSO-E imports this summer - TSO

22 Apr 2013 16:47:19 | edem

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Turkey is to increase its electricity imports from Europe possibly as early as June following surging market demand and 'positive results' from a trial on interconnection, a senior source at the Turkish grid operator TEIAS told ICIS on Monday.

Turkey currently imports 400MW from Bulgaria and Greece as part of its limited interconnection with the European system which started under the umbrella of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in June 2011.

However, ICIS understands that electricity imports are to increase to 550MW this summer. Conversely, Turkey is to beef up its exports to Bulgaria and Greece from 300MW to 412MW. The volumes in both directions will retain existing proportions, which means that two-thirds of the volumes will flow to and from Bulgaria and one-third to and from Greece.

"We have decided to increase the volumes because of growing market demand and good results during the trial period of the interconnection," a senior source at TEIAS said.

The number of Turkish companies active in cross-border trading has nearly tripled since May last year compared to June 2011 when Turkey started its first monthly cross-border auctions with Greece and Bulgaria. For example, an average of nine companies have been trading on the Bulgarian-Turkish border, also the most active border, since May 2012. In the period June 2011-April 2012 only some three-and-a-half companies took positions on the same border.

The increase in activity coincides with the conclusion of the first over-the-counter deal in May last year is an indication of Turkey's growing demand for electricity, which is growing at an average 7% annually.

In order to respond to that growth, Turkey has been actively seeking to develop its cross-border interconnections with all neighbouring countries bar Armenia.

In September 2010, the Turkish grid was linked to the European network and entered a three-stage trial period. The first two stages involved the technical synchronisation of the grid, while the third stage opened up the possibility for companies active in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria to engage in limited commercial flows.

Once the trial period is completed, possibly later this year, cross-border volumes are likely to increase and auction periods covering daily, monthly and annual products may also be offered. Currently there are only monthly auctions with Bulgaria and daily and monthly auctions with Greece.

"A decision is expected later this autumn regarding the completion of the trial period," the TEIAS source added.

Turkish market participants welcomed the news, describing it as a "positive development".

However, one trader said: "It's good, but not enough. We need more volumes, and we need to expand our daily as well as annual capacity, which would help the trading to become more long-term than now. At the moment, participants focus on short-term monthly products."

Bulgarian traders agreed the news was positive, but the move was unlikely to boost Bulgarian exports as long as the export tariff charged by Bulgaria remained at €17.52/MWh.

The Turkish grid operator TEIAS has been repeatedly praised by traders for the transparent manner in which it conducts monthly auctions (see EDEM 16 November 2012). Aura Sabadus and Irina Peltegova

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