ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- French energy company ENGIE said it was building its European footprint in the liquefied natural gas market with the opening of a new terminal in Turkey.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on hand for the inauguration of the ETKI terminal for the loading of liquefied natural gas. The French company said it was tasked with delivering a fast-track floating regasification unit so that product can be delivered to the Turkish market in gaseous form.
"The new ETKI LNG terminal will be a key contributor to Turkey's natural gas security of supply, especially in the winter period," the French company said. "It will complement Turkey's two existing onshore LNG terminals, thus enhancing the country's diversification of gas import structures as well as supply sources."
According to the Turkish government, the country is second only to China when it comes to demand for natural gas. The country is dependent on imports to meet its demand as 25 percent of its natural gas needs are met by domestic resources.
Turkey, meanwhile, aims to serve as an energy bridge between Central Asian suppliers and European markets, with several inland and offshore pipelines in various stages of development. Liquefied natural gas, however, offers more diversity because it's less exposed to geopolitical issues. Russia, for example, has cut gas supplies for Europe in the past because of spats with Ukraine.
ENGIE said it was opening a trading office in Turkey. The company boasted that it's the main importer of LNG for the European market with 12 carriers in its fleet.