Turkey’s state-run Anatolian Energy (AEG) has announced plans to build a new $4 billion gas station and electricity station in the southern Turkish city of Antalya, as part of a wider project aimed at reducing its dependence on Russia.
The new gas station, to be built in the city of Sefa, will have a capacity of 3.5 million cubic metres per day (mcf/d) and will also provide gas to Istanbul and Ankara, the company said in a statement on Monday.
The AEG will also install electricity plants in the town of Antaiya and the southern province of Adana, the statement added.
The gas station is expected to open in 2019, with the first units expected to be operational in 2021.
Turkey’s energy minister, Yalcin Akcakaya, told state-owned Anatolia news agency in a televised interview that the project was part of the country’s strategy to reduce its reliance on Russia, as well as on foreign energy supplies, and was part the countrys efforts to diversify its energy sources.
In recent years, Turkey has become increasingly reliant on Russian gas, with many residents living in the south-east of the nation.AEG, which is controlled by the state-backed Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP), has been facing criticism from human rights activists for the project.
In 2015, it announced it would invest $4.3 billion in the construction of new gas stations in Turkey.
However, opposition groups, such as the Kurdish Democratic Party (HDP), have said that the planned gas station would be a step backward for the country.
“This is a huge mistake and is part of Erdogan’s attempts to increase Turkey’s dependence on Russian energy sources, to increase the number of gas stations and power stations, and to increase Russia’s role in Turkey’s energy future,” MP Hüseyin Celik, a leading member of the HDP, told AFP news agency on Sunday.