CREATIVE POWER OF TURKMENISTAN
Turkmenistan is often compared to a huge construction site, where large-scale projects on construction of industrial, social and cultural facilities worth tens of billions of US dollars are being implemented and where much attention is also paid to construction of infrastructure facilities.
Speaking at the Khalk Maslakhaty meeting on 25 September 2020, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that about 2.5 thousand large facilities with the total value of more than 37 billion US dollars are currently being built in the country.
According to the head of state, in the near future there will be built a new gas chemical complex in Kiyanly, a gas turbine power plant in Dashoguz province, a phosphoric fertilizer production workshop at the Turkmenabat chemical plant, and the second phase of industrial development of the Galkynysh gas field will begin.
The head of state also spoke about the ongoing projects to establish international transport corridors, such as the high-speed Ashgabat - Turkmenabat highway, the Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India gas pipeline and other regional projects.
In recent years, a lot of investments have been made in construction of new facilities for production of glass, reinforced concrete and other products that resulted in the notable increase in the output of building materials, the President of Turkmenistan noted.
The head of state stressed that the main tasks facing the construction complex include increasing production output, improving quality and competitiveness of products, safety of construction works and services.
These tasks were initially identified at the government meeting on February 7, 2020, following the reformation of the management structure of the construction industry. The head of state emphasized that this reform was important to maintain the pace of massive construction of big settlements, administrative centers and cities as part of the state program on transformation of Turkmenistan into an industrially developed state. All this requires a high level of organization, skills to manage construction work and significant increase in production of building materials.
At the same government meeting, the President of Turkmenistan signed a decree on establishment of the Ministry of Industry and Construction Production. He appointed Serdar Berdimuhamedov as the Minister of Industry and Construction Production, relieving him of his duties as Governor of Akhal province.
The President of Turkmenistan set a task of ensuring relevant supply of building materials for the ongoing construction projects which requires increasing production of building materials. This task should be addressed both through the modernization of the existing and construction of new plants.
At the end of February, the head of state signed a decree instructing the new ministry to ensure construction of a number of industrial and production facilities in 2020-2023 and hold international tenders for selection of contractors. Later, the Ministry of Industry and Construction Production announced plans to build 12 new production facilities, including the plants for production of ceramic tiles, water-dispersion dyes, building mixtures, floor laminates and other products. There are also plans to implement the second stage of construction of cement plants in Akhal and Lebap provinces and increase their annual production capacities from 1 to 2 million tons each.
Contractors were selected already in July through an international tender for the implementation of the second stage of construction of two cement plants. The interdepartmental commission approved the projects presented by Turkmen companies "Beik-Bina" and "Trkmen Enjam" as the most efficient. Construction works started in the same month under a contract with the relevant ministry. New facilities are expected to be commissioned in December 2022.
The large-scale infrastructure projects launched this year include the construction of a new city for 70 thousand residents. It started in April, almost from scratch. The new city will become the administrative center of Akhal province. In February, the head of state signed a decree allocating some 1.5 billion US dollars to import equipment and materials for this project.
The new city will occupy 950 hectares. More than 400 cottages and multi-storey buildings, dozens of kindergartens, schools and medical institutions will be built there in two stages. The Palace of Congresses, the House of Culture, a drama theater, a library, a circus and a museum, two sports complexes, a shopping and an entertainment center and a city park will also be erected there. It is also planned to build an International Higher School of Horse Breeding and a Research and Production Center of Horse Breeding.
It is noteworthy that implementation of this truly grandiose construction project was entrusted to local construction companies with urban planning experience that they accumulated in the process of construction of industrial complexes, new-type residential areas and urban-type settlements that fully meet the modern international standards. The new city is expected to be built in three to four years.
Another equally large-scale project on construction of a new satellite city of the Turkmen capital also stands ready for implementation. Called unofficially "Ashgabat City", it is designed to accommodate more than 107 thousand people. This grandiose complex consisting of more than 200 buildings will occupy 744 hectares. It will feature 180 high-rise 12 to 35-storey buildings accounting for 17836 apartments.
Social and domestic infrastructure facilities will include a multidisciplinary clinic, health houses, shopping and entertainment centers, shops and cafes, a stadium and a sports complex, a center for celebrations, multi-level parking lots. The "Ashgabat City" project has been prepared by the Ashgabat city administration, the Ministry of Construction and Architecture, as well as the Turkmen State Institute of Architecture and Construction and the State Academy of Arts.
In the future, it is expected that "Ashgabat City" and the capital city will become connected by the Ashgabat Underground, whose construction was proposed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov back in 2014. This project was developed by the Ukrainian construction association "Interbudmontazh" in cooperation with the Japanese company "Sumitomo", the Japanese Metro Association and the German consulting group "K2". They explored the engineering possibilities for construction of an underground railway in the seismological zone. In May 2020, the underground railway project was presented in Ashgabat. According to the project designers, the Ashgabat Underground will become a modern, convenient and environmentally friendly transport link between Ashgabat and its satellite city.
The 600-km Ashgabat - Turkmenabat highway is another innovative construction project in the transport sector. It has been under construction since January 2019. The government allocated a concessional loan worth 2.3 billion US dollars for implementation of this project. The highway is being built by local construction companies, including Altyn Nesil, Khizmat Merkezi, Oguz El, private company Nusay Yollary and dozens of Turkmen subcontractors. About 3500 builders, more than 2200 units of special equipment and vehicles are used in construction of this highway.
The highway will have eight lanes. The roadbed will be 35 meters wide. As part of the project, there will be built 4 bridges over rivers, 4 bridges over the railway, 22 bridges at the intersection with other highways, 76 underground pedestrian crossings and a special passage for animals, water collectors over mudflow channels, interchanges and other facilities.
The highway is expected to be commissioned in three stages. The first stage provides for construction and commissioning of the Ashgabat - Tejen section in December 2020, the second stage - the Tejen - Mary section in December 2022, and the third stage - the Mary - Turkmenabat section in December 2023. This highway will make it possible to boost the volumes of cargo transportation, including transit, through the territory of Turkmenistan.
It is no coincidence that at the September meeting of the Khalk Maslakhaty, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized the building power of Turkmenistan. In accordance with the Program for Socio-Economic Development of the Country for 2019-2025, large-scale work is underway on development of the urban and rural infrastructure, industrialization and creation of the transport and logistics infrastructure. Construction of a new large residential complex in Ashgabat as well as a new administrative center of Akhal province continues at a high pace.
As of 1 September 2020, Turkmenistan made capital investments exceeding 1.7 billion Turkmen Manat as part of the National Rural Program alone. In this period, there were commissioned two health centers, 216 kilometers of engineering networks and facilities, about 510 kilometers of communication systems, residential buildings with a total area of 792.3 thousand square meters.
Investments channeled into development of the national economy amounted to 19.9 billion Turkmen Manat or 22.4 percent of GDP over eight months of 2020. In 2021, capital investments from all sources of financing will increase even more, amounting to some 37 billion Turkmen Manat.
Noting that the accelerated development of the construction sector requires, first of all, a well-developed industry that produces equipment and building materials, the head of state emphasized that large investments have been made in recent years to create new industries in the country for production of glass products, various types of nonmetallic building materials, reinforced concrete structures. As a result, production of building materials in the country has increased several times.
The results of 2019 testify to the continued positive trends in investment and construction activities. Last year, about 35 billion US dollars were invested in the construction industry. More than 1.7 thousand industrial and socio-cultural facilities worth some 10 billion US dollars were commissioned.
The construction industry of Turkmenistan is now focused on the implementation of large-scale state programs on industrialization, creation of modern transport and social infrastructure, new facilities for production of import-substituting products and export goods, housing construction, and comprehensive development of the regions.
The Program of Socio-Economic Development of Turkmenistan for 2019-2025 envisages an 11.5 percent increase in the share of construction industry in the total GDP over seven years. During this period, investments in fixed assets will amount to 229.3 billion Turkmen Manat, 289 facilities will be commissioned. As part of the National Rural Program alone, the regions of the country will get 13 hospitals, 20 health houses, 163 preschool institutions, 201 schools, 16 houses of culture, 11 water treatment facilities, as well as residential buildings with a total area of 1,896.4 thousand square meters.
It is important that Turkmen manufacturers of building materials not only meet the needs of the domestic market but also export them. In 2019, about 160 thousand tons of cement produced by the Lebap plant were exported to Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. In addition, tens of thousands of cubic meters of aerated concrete blocks from the Bakharden plant of aerated concrete products were exported to Uzbekistan for the construction of Tashkent City facilities, residential buildings in Bukhara, Samarkand and other cities.
In the near future, the construction enterprises need to improve quality and increase output by expanding and introducing innovative technologies at the industry level. To address this task, the government takes measures to accelerate introduction of digital technologies in the management and production processes of the industry. It is necessary to increase the potential of the industry through construction of new production facilities and application of innovative technologies of the world's leading manufacturers.
Using instruments of state support, including preferential lending, it is important to stimulate the establishment of small and medium-sized enterprises for production of building materials in the regions and creation of more joint ventures with leading foreign companies.
Enhancing cooperation with the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan in the area of processing local raw materials, development of production technologies and creation of new types of building materials is also an important direction of work.