Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Sept. 7 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Turkmenistan and Romania are discussing the possibility of implementing a joint project to create a new Eurasian transport corridor, an official Turkmen source reported today.
This matter was one of the key issues at a meeting between Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Romanian Minister of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment Daniel Chitoiu.
Both sides exchanged views on the issues of using the transit potential of the two countries. In particular, they discussed the ties between the port of Turkmenbashi and Romanian Constanta.
Ashgabat has recently hosted a meeting of the intergovernmental Turkmen-Romanian Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The Romanian side was represented by business people from about 40 companies. Transport issues were raised.
Constanta is the largest port in the Black Sea region. According to various sources, turnover exceeds 80 million tons a year. The infrastructure is able to receive all types of goods as there special terminals for ore and coal, oil and oil products, chemicals and fertilisers, cement and building materials, grains, frozen food, oil. Moreover, Constanta has ferry and container terminals.
It has been recently reported that the Turkmen State Service of Maritime and River Transport is considering the possibility of transporting liquefied gas to Constanta. A supply route involves the use of special containers and runs across the Caspian Sea to Baku (Azerbaijan), then by railway to Batumi or Poti (Georgia, the Black Sea region) and from there by sea to Romania.
The same pattern applies to other goods from Turkmenistan which may be transported by containers.
Turkmenbashi port is also preparing for a major modernisation of its infrastructure. According to the general plan, it is planned to build a shipyard and ship repair yard to create a rescue service, purchase environmental equipment and ships, to reconstruct the railway ferry terminal, the existing oil piers and to reconstruct the dry cargo berth of Aladja port station until 2020.
It is planned to construct additional berths and terminal, deepen and widen the navigation channel of the Turkmenbashi port, to construct a new control tower to coordinate the work of the port, to create a logistics centre and a berth for container and dry cargo ships with a length of 1500 metres.
According to the experts, a full-scale transformation of the port of Turkmenbashi will require investments worth several billion dollars. The experience of free economic zones in the UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong is being examined in the country. Dozens of foreign companies voiced their desire to participate in the modernisation of a naval harbour.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency are interested in this project.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the Turkmen government signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the modernisation of the port.