Turkey is planning new legislation to further open the country’s gas market, which is currently dominated by state gas importer and transmission operator Botas, Mustafa Yilmaz, the Head of Turkey’s energy regulator EPDK said in an interview published in Turkish business daily Dunya, reported Platts.

The new gas market law would facilitate the unbundling of Botas and the holding of new tenders for the transfer of Botas’ import volumes to the private sector to enable the operation of a liberalized gas market, Yilmaz said.

Further, efforts are underway to expand the availability of CNG and LNG to regions currently not served. Botas announced in March that it plans to buy a floating LNG regasification terminal.

EPDK’s statements follow the announcement by Hasan Huseyin Savas, the CEO of Turkey’s newly established EPIAS energy market that the operator plans to launch a spot day by the end of this year.

Botas currently holds gas imports contracts with Gazprom for 4bcm/year via the Transbalkan line which runs to the end of 2021, and for 16bcm/year via the Blue Stream pipeline which runs to the end of 2025. In addition it holds contracts for pipeline gas with Iran for 9.6bcm/year which runs to July 2026 and with Azerbaijan for 6.6bcm/year which runs to April 2021. Moreover, it has contracts with Algeria for 4.4bcm/year of LNG which runs to October 2024 and with Nigeria for 1.3 Bcm/year of LNG which runs to October 2021.

As Monitor informed in a recent analysis, Turkey is scrambling to reduce its gas dependence on Russia, and the country has therefore moved to speed up the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), designed to carry Azeri gas to Europe via Turkey, and set up three new liquefied natural gas facilities.