Monday, April 02, 2012 -
Turkmenistan’s Caspian Sea port of Turkmenbashi will undergo a makeover to keep up with growing traffic demands, authorities said on Saturday.
Government authorities were directed to implement plans quickly, the state media organ Neutral Turkmenistan reported.
"[Turkmen President Gurbanguly] Berdimuhamedov set the task before the workers of water transport to mobilize their own funds, state lending, and foreign investment, to implement a radical plan to modernize the port of Turkmenbashi as soon as possible due to the constant increase in traffic," the Turkmenistan.gov.tm reported on Saturday.
The port is barely able to keep up with the rapidly rising volume of cargo transiting through the port.
"Commercial operation of the port is becoming steadily profitable and bringing millions into the treasury of the state," according to the report.
The media outlet attributed growing demand as partly due to centralization and consolidation of management of the country’s merchant shipping. It said the government has also acquired new vessels and cargo handling equipment, as well as constructing new storage facilities.
The report noted a rise in the shipment of raw hydrocarbons for the petroleum refining industry and exports of petroleum products refined in Turkmenistan.
The port is also handling growing amount of building materials, factory equipment, automobiles, and heavy vehicles.
A feasibility study on the port’s development has already been prepared by the state Maritime and River Transport Service with foreign expertise.
Initial stages of the plan envisage among other things construction of warehouses, ship repair facilities, and related infrastructure by the end of 2013.
Construction is expected to last until 2020.
Longer-term plans foresee reconstruction of an oil terminal, new docks, piers, and facilities for container and dry cargo vessels.