Several sectors of Turkmenistan’s economy are rapidly evolving now thanks to recent investments of around $50 billion. There are about 1,700 large construction projects underway with a total cost of more than $42 billion. That amounts to more than 32% of the country’s GDP in Q1 of 2018.
One of the most important of these investment projects is the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Construction of the Afghan segment began in February 2018. Several other important construction projects have already been completed, including the Turkmenbashi seaport, a polyethylene and polypropylene production plant, and the Galkynysh Gas Field.
All these investments are creating significant opportunities to turn Turkmenistan into a strategic maritime logistics hub for the Trans-Caspian Sea area.
It is therefore not surprising that a town with one of the newest and largest Caspian Sea ports was a recently a platform for a transport and logistics conference called HEAVY TURKMENISTAN 2018. From October 1-3 2018, Turkmenbashi hosted the event which covered topics related to the transport and installation of overweight and project cargos in an independent, politically neutral, and business-friendly Turkmenistan. The conference was a unique opportunity for experts from international transport-logistics group AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG to visit the country and explore the infrastructure of Turkmenbashi’s new port.
“At first sight, this project has striking modernity. The port is new and completely ready to achieve ambitious plans. For fully servicing bulky loads, the terminal has a conveyor system for unloading wagons and loading vessels. The finishing touches are now being made and the terminal will be operational soon. This successful project of global importance will open new logistics prospects for the transport industry, improve the region’s transport infrastructure, and strengthen Turkmenistan’s international relations in the process. There's no doubt about it," Oleg Sysolyatin, Head of Break Bulk Division at AsstrA, describes the region’s largest infrastructure investment.
Svetlana Palkina, Head of AsstrA Fertilizers Logistics Division further comments:
“At HEAVY TURKMENISTAN 2018, representatives of various public sector organizations and state-run companies gave presentations. The large infrastructure and industrial facilities that have been launched here in recent years can drive significant growth in exports of chemical products and fertilizers from Turkmenistan. The conference provided an opportunity to organize many working meetings with partners and companies that can be involved in logistics in this unique region. We were able to meet representatives of the administration of the seaport of Turkmenbashi and get acquainted with the infrastructure of the port and its technical capabilities.
We were impressed, in the first instance, by the modern infrastructure of the port, its equipment, and the opportunities it has opened for the transshipment of general cargo. AsstrA is interested in the seaport of Turkmenbashi as the optimal base for transshipment of fertilizers — especially carbamide and sulfur.
The AsstrA Fertilizers Logistics Division has already taken its first steps in Turkmenistan in a sulfur transportation project. During this trip, we were able to see the cars with "our" sulfur waiting for the ferry in the port.
We would like to express our thanks to the organizers of the conference for the opportunity to visit Turkmenistan and see everything with our own eyes. It is for a good reason that this proverb exists: "It is better to see once than hear a hundred times."