Natural Gas Distribution

• Natural gas was first introduced in Turkey in 1987, when we imported natural gas from Russia to meet the increasing demand for energy. At the time, import, transport and sales of natural gas was managed by BOTAŞ.

• Natural gas distribution was launched initially in Ankara in 1988. Later in 1992 Istanbul and Bursa switched to natural gas use, and Eskişehir and Kocaeli followed suit in 1996.

• The natural gas distribution companies active in Eskişehir and Bursa were operational directorates of BOTAŞ. Those in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmit, however, were municipal subsidiary bodies.

• Until 2001, BOTAŞ was structured in a vertically integrated manner that consisted of centralised importation, transportation and sales activities.

• In 2001, the Law No 4646 on Natural Gas Market entered into force with a view to liberalise the Natural Gas Market of Turkey, and to replace the vertically integrated structure of BOTAŞ with free market structures where competition is encouraged and private sector investments are subsidised, with a view to deliver low-cost and continuous natural gas service to final consumers.

• There had been 7 natural gas distribution companies active in natural gas distribution market until 2001. The comfort and convenience at home that natural gas use offers, and its contributions in air-pollution prevention led the promotion of natural gas use to become a major goal.

• Subsequently, the Law No 4646 on Natural Gas Market encourages inter-city natural gas distribution licensing tenders to benefit from private sector investments as a leverage to promote natural gas distribution. Such investments that otherwise would not have been feasible through public resources, were thus realised through EMRA natural gas distribution licensing tenders. As of today, there are 72 natural gas distribution companies active in 81 provinces of Turkey.

• Furthermore, as set out in Law No 4646, ESGAZ and BURSAGAZ natural gas distribution companies each active respectively in Eskişehir and Bursa, IZGAZ company in Kocaeli, and BAŞKENTGAZ company in Ankara were privatised in 2004, 2009, and 2013 respectively.

• Today, natural gas distribution sector serves over 13.2 million consumers, and have realised network investments worth over 7 billion USD in total.