Transport infrastructure of Turkmenistan: maritime course
Speaking from the high rostrum of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov paid particular attention to such a crucial component as creation of a modern transport infrastructure in the context of supporting the sustainable economic growth.
Having underlined that within many years Turkmenistan and its partners in the region have been actively working on implementation of large projects to ensure optimization of traffic flows at the Eurasian space, the Turkmen leader underlined the availability of this direction given the huge potential of the North-South and East-West corridors.
In this regard the President of Turkmenistan suggested developing the UN Special Programme for developing transport that envisages the study of the transit and transport potential between the Caspian and Black Seas, the Central Asia and Middle East.
Within the framework of implementation of this urgent initiative, the International Conference on the Prospects for Developing the Transport and Transit Traffic in Central Asia and the Caspian region took place in Ashgabat this May. The conference agenda focused on the issues of cooperation in the transport sphere, including new vectors for widening the transit maritime traffic.
In this regard particular attention should be paid to the Turkmenbashi International sea port that serves as a largest transit unit in the region. To ensure the accelerated increase of its capacity it is planned to further modernize the port, build new terminals of various specializations. The high level of their technological supply will guarantee the ecological safety of the Caspian Sea.
According to the General plan of development of the Turkmenbashi International sea port and the Turkmen mercantile fleet up to 2020 it is planned to build a shipbuilding / ship-repairing yard, create a rescue service base and purchase the ecologically friendly equipment and vessels, port tugboats, reconstruct the railway ferry terminal, the existing oil-loading piers, the acquisition of port tugs, dry-cargo moorage of the Aladja port, build additional mooring places and waiting terminal for passengers, as well as to deepen and widen a navigation channel port of the Turkmenbashi port, build a new control tower to coordinate the work of the port, create a logistics center, including construction of a berth for container and dry- cargo vessels 1,500 meters long, etc.
As of the further expansion of the material and technical basis of the Service, it is planned to purchase six more oil-loading tankers, a tanker for transportation of liquefied natural gas, two automobile and passenger ferries, four tugboats, and one dredging vessel.
The large-scale work on implementation of the General Plan is in full swing. That is vividly proved by the Resolution signed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on July 20 authorizing conclusion of the contract with the ULJANIK Brodogradiliste d.d. Company (Croatia) for construction and purchase of two automobile and passenger ferries of the Ro-Pax type.
The feasibility study of the projects on creation of a shipbuilding / ship-repairing yard, automobile and passenger terminal, and logistics center was carried out with the support of international financial institutions. The Central Research Institute of the Navy (Russia) developed the plan for prevention and liquidation of oil and petroleum product spills. The plan includes the events on prevention and elimination of oil spills, purchase of relevant equipment and vessels required for these activities.
Currently, the State Service of Maritime and River Transport of Turkmenistan is negotiating, and study the issue on supplying Turkmen liquefied gas to Europe via the Romanian port of Constanta (the Black Sea region). It is planned that the Turkmen merchant marine vessels will ship liquefied gas in special containers to the port of Baku (Azerbaijan), and from the port of Baku to the port of Batumi and Poti (Georgia, the Black Sea Region) by railway. Then, from Georgia, containers will be shipped to Romania or the other countries of the Black Sea region. The same scheme is applicable to other Turkmen goods that can be transported in containers.
The industrial and agricultural equipment, motor transport equipment, metal products, timber, fertilizers are imported to our country, and polypropylene, coke and other petroleum products, chemical industry products are exported abroad through the Turkmenbashi sea port, which serves as a transit center of the Europe-Caucasus-Central Asia international transport corridor. The intensity of the cargo traffic passing through the harbor has increased by two times within the recent years.
The strategy for development of the transport industry pays significant attention to creation of modern national merchant marine fleet equipped with tankers, tugs, dry cargo ships. Sumbar, Khazar, Jeyhun, Bitarap, Etrek oil loading tankers built at the request of Turkmenistan within the framework of implementation of innovative projects on creation of a national shipping fleet that meets international standards were purchased and put into operation in recent years. Thus, the volumes of cargo traffic and the number of foreign vessels calling at the port of Turkmenbashi increase with every passing year.
State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH)