Last week review (June 16 - 21)

July 16

Production of grain seeds for sowing in 2013 starts in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has begun the process of seed crop production for planting in 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture said.

If 46,149 tons of seeds I and II reproductions were produced in 2001, then this figure reached 173,937 tons in 2011 and subsidies to farmers to sell seeds grown over this period rose from 3.5 million to 5.5 million manat, respectively.

Permits have been issued for carrying out the production of 350 types of seed crop as of July 1.

New steel pipe standard for main pipelines adopted in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents has approved the new state standard AZS GOST R 52079-2012 on "Welded Steel Pipes for Main Gas, Oil and Oil Product Pipelines. Specifications," the committee said.

This standard determines the requirements for welded steel and spiral steel pipes with a diameter of 114-1,420 mm, transporting active products (gas, oil and petroleum products) not subjected to corrosion at an operating pressure of 9.8 MPa and temperatures from +50 degrees to -60 degrees.

Azerbaijani President lays foundation stone for Shirvan-Mughan group water pipeline in Hajigabul

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Shirvan-Mughan group water pipeline in Hajigabul.

The President first viewed the facility`s scheme and technical specifications.

The Head of State was told that through one of the Kur-Baku pipelines water would be supplied to Hajigabul, Shirvan, Neftchala and Bilasuvar cities as well as 121 villages. The launch of the Shirvan-Mughan group pipeline will ensure the continuous supply of quality drinking water to a total of 470,000 people.

President Ilham Aliyev laid the foundation stone for the facility.

The Head of State addressed the ceremony.

Speakers at the event, including chairman of Azersu Gorkhmaz Huseynov, head of Hajigabul executive authorities Ahmad Mukhtarov, teacher at Shirvan City Lyceum and School No. 1 Aynura Rzayeva, and head of Gizilaghaj municipality in Shirvan Bunyad Yolchuyev, thanked the President for his care and attention.

July 17

Plans on road expansion from Baku to Georgian border announced

"Azeryolservis" company under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport will complete expanding the Hajigabul-Kurdamir road section within the Baku-Alat-Gazakh-border highway construction with Georgia, spokesman for Azeryolservis Punhan Mursaliyev said. The operations on expanding the road section started in summer 2011. "As a result of the operations, the road will be expanded from two lanes to four. Hajigabul- Kurdamir section covers 80 kilometers from 120 to 200 kilometers of the highway Baku-Alat-Gazakh-border with Georgia," Mursaliyev added.

EBRD offers grants to entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan

Business Advisory Services (BAS) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) offers grants to entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Economic Development Ministry said. BAS offers grants ranging from 25 to 75 percent of project costs, which do not to exceed 10,000 euros, depending on the activity scope.

Pensions in Azerbaijan to be assigned from single center

The Azerbaijani State Social Protection Fund is working to develop and implement software to perform operations on assigning pensions from a single center, Chairman Salim Muslimov said in a speech at the board meeting of the fund, State Social Protection Fund said.

He said the fund rendered about 20 interactive and informational e-services to the country's population.

"The basic services provided to pensioners and insurers by the fund are available in electronic form. State Fund will continue to work to improve the electronic document, the further introduction of information and communication technologies," Muslimov said.

Wärtsilä to supply 384 MW gas power plant to Azerbaijan

Wärtsilä Corporation, which is a leading global supplier of flexible and efficient power plant solutions, will supply a 384 MW gas power plant to Azerbaijan, the Corporation reported.

According to the report, in terms of output, this is the largest single power plant order that Wärtsilä has received to date.

When completed, the Boyuk Shor power plant located close to the capital Baku, will be operated by the state-owned utility Azerenerji JSC. The order is included in Wärtsilä's second quarter 2012 order book.

Wärtsilä says its scope of supply will be 21 Wärtsilä 50SG engines running on natural gas, related auxiliaries and process equipment.

The plant is scheduled to be operational in autumn 2013, and will supply electricity to the Baku regional grid.

According to Vesa Riihimäki, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Power Plants, Corporation's already strong presence and unmatched track record in Azerbaijan is further enhanced with this important order.

Wärtsilä has been present in Azerbaijan since the middle of 1990's ans has already supplied seven power plants in Azerbaijan, producing a total of over 860 MW of power generating capacity.

Date of second round of negotiations on accession of Azerbaijan to WTO defined Next, the 10th round of multilateral negotiations on Azerbaijan's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will be held in Geneva on July 23-27, the Azerbaijani government said.

"Within the meeting with the WTO working group, it is also planned to hold consultation with the WTO Working Group and bilateral negotiations with the organization's member states," the government said.

The source noted that bilateral talks with the United States and Canada confirmed today. "However, this list may expand before the consultations" the government said.

July 18 Implementation of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail project to be completed in 2013

It is planned to complete the implementation of the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail project in 2013, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia Ramaz Nikolashvili told journalists in Baku.

"It is planned to launch a technical train to the border of Turkey until the end of 2012" the minister said.

Also Nikolashvili noted the importance of this project in terms of transportation of goods from China and Central Asia. The new project will annually transport up to 15 million tons of cargo.

The work is being carried out in accordance with the schedule and there is no problem in its implementation, Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mamedov told reporters.

On Wednesday, Baku hosted the fourth meeting of the Trilateral Coordination Council on the implementation of the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail project.

The transport corridor includes the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki branch line with a length of 98km, of which 68km is in Turkey and 30km in Georgia.

POS-terminal installation criteria to be changed in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Taxes together with the Central Bank has submitted the drafts "Criteria for determining the sites where POS-terminals are installed" and "Rules of installation, use and application of POS-terminals in the Azerbaijani territory" to the Cabinet of Ministers, a report published in the Taxes Ministry's newspaper "Vergiler" said.

As of July 1, 2012, the number of registered POS-terminals in Azerbaijan amounted to 33,268. The registration numbers were assigned to 23,729 POS-terminals in the first half of 2012, of which 22,604 units (95.3 percent) were registered in electronically.

SOCAR conducts Eco monitoring

The Environment Department of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) conducts Eco monitoring at sea oil and gas field, March 8 and in the waters of the bay of Baku, SOCAR said.

During the monitoring seawater, zooplankton, phytoplankton and sediments were sampled from 15 stations. Relevant studies will be carried out on the basis of the samples.

Azerbaijani Central Bank's activity in first six months ensures sustained growth and economic development

The current and strategic activity of the Azerbaijani Central Bank (CBA) during the first half of 2012 served to fully support the economic policy of the country. It focused on sustainable growth and economic development, CBA chairman Elman Rustamov said at the enlarged meeting of the board.

"Economic growth rates in the country within six months of 2012 amounted to 1.5 percent, non-oil sector grew by 11.3 percent, while the volume of investments in non-oil economy grew by 30.2 percent," Rustamov said.

Minister: Azerbaijan's cooperation with ECOBANK to create new opportunities for private sector financing

"In early 2012, the ECOBANK Board of Governors received Azerbaijan's appeal on membership," Azerbaijani Minister of Economic Development Shahin Mustafayev said at a meeting with ECO Chief Secretary Yahya Maroofi. "After the procedures complete, full membership in the bank will be approved. The cooperation with the bank will create new opportunities for financing the private sector, developing the trade-economic relations with ECO member countries."

July 19

ADB reduces amount of II multitranche funding for road construction in Azerbaijan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has reduced the volume of the II multitranche financing (MFF) for road construction in Azerbaijan from $800 million to $500 million, Baku Office of ADB said.

"The reduction in funding is due to the fact that the bank has decided to direct loans to complete construction of the Baku-Iran border highway, particularly of Alat-Masalli road," the office said.

This project provides the reconstruction of the 62-kilometer stretch of highway Alat-Masalli.

Given the international importance of this road, the Asian Development Bank plans to accelerate the process of reaching agreement with the Azerbaijani government on the issue of road projects funding. The question of the first tranche in the amount of $200-250 million will be submitted to the ADB Board of Directors until the end of the third quarter of 2012.

July 20

Thirty state agencies integrated into Electronic government portal in Azerbaijan

Currently, 30 state agencies integrated into the portal Electronic government in Azerbaijan, Chief of Staff of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies Vidadi Zeynalov said.

According to the information the number of the electronic services provided by these structures in electronic form has reached 119.

SOCAR opens new filling station in Romania

SOCAR put into operation a filling station in Romania, SOCAR said.

According to the information, a new station is located on the highway in the direction of Bucharest in Draguseni area, Sudzheava economic region.

After commissioning this station, the number of SOCAR filling stations operating in Romania has reached 13 units.

July 21

Winner of tender on gasification announced in Azerbaijan

Production Association Azerigaz of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) signed a contract with Global Services to undertake work on gas supply in the country, the production Association said.

The company won the tender for the purchase of works on improvement of the gasification and gas supply, held on June 14.

SOCAR plans to bring the level of gasification in the country to 95 percent the following year.

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