SOUTHERN AND EASTERN VECTORS OF INTERESTS
As part of his working visit to Lebap province, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov attended the commissioning ceremony of a new gas compressor station with the annual capacity of 30 billion cubic meters at Malay gas field in Lebap province that is famous for its rich oil and gas reserves. The field is located 70 kilometers from the city of Turkmenabat.
The ceremony participants included the Speaker of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, members of the government, heads and representatives of a number of ministries and departments of the country, as well as new Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Turkmenistan Qian Naicheng and Director General of CNPC International Turkmenistan Li Shulian.
The head of state cut the ribbon and addressed the ceremony participants. The President said that the availability of giant hydrocarbon deposits and cooperation with foreign investors for development of these deposits contributed to the advancement of Turkmenistan’s position as one of the energy powers. Carrying out a lot of work to diversify natural gas exports to international markets, Turkmenistan seeks to use its enormous wealth and resources to strengthen peace and ensure well-being for all, the Turkmen leader stressed.
Despite the complex situation in the world, Turkmenistan continued building and commissioning large social and industrial facilities, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted. He said that special importance is attached to innovative technologies and environmental standards during construction.
Using advanced technologies, the new gas compressor station will produce 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The station has a range of facilities and production units that occupy a total of 12 hectares.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov put the production into operation by pressing the start button on the touch panel.
Malay gas field is connected to the transnational gas pipeline Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan – China though the Malay – Bagtyyarlyk gas pipeline. In the implementation of this project, the State Concern “Turkmengaz” partnered with British Petro Gas LLP and French Dresser-Rand S.A, the leading manufacturer of gas compressor equipment.
A day earlier, celebrations were held in the city of Turkmenabat on the occasion of the commissioning of a 30-kilometer railway between the stations of Akin and Andkhoy in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a 153-kilometer 500 kilowatt power transmission line along the route Kerki (Turkmenistan) – Shibargan (Afghanistan), as well as Imamnazar – Akina and Serhetabat – Turgundi international fiber-optic communication lines between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani attended the launching ceremonies via a teleconference organized at “Rukhyet” Palace of Lebap province, bringing together in the online format the participants of the ceremonies from Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
The commissioning of these facilities will help increase opportunities for two states to efficiently implement the transit transport, energy and communication potential of interaction.
Speaking at the ceremony, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that these three projects would give a powerful impetus to the long-term development of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. According to him, this work will contribute to the strengthening of security and economic development of the region.
In his turn, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani noted that projects for development of railway communication, electricity trade and establishment of a fiber-optic network would help improve the living conditions of the Afghan people and create conditions for development of the region.
“We want to turn Afghanistan into a regional crossroads, and, undoubtedly, Turkmenistan, which has achieved many successes in this area, can play an important role in this regard as a good neighbor and strategic partner of Afghanistan,” he stressed.
The 30 kilometer-long Akina – Andkhoy railway branch is part of a large-scale transport project initiated by Ashgabat with the view of connecting the countries of the region with the railway network of China, the Caucasus and Turkey. The 153 kilometers long Kerki (Turkmenistan) – Shibergan (Afghanistan) power transmission line with the capacity of 500 kW is part of the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan power transmission line project that provides for exports of Turkmen electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The new fiber-optic line between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan is designed to serve as a key information bridge between the countries of the region and the rest of the world.
The Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan held a briefing on the occasion of commissioning of three international infrastructure facilities. The briefing was attended by the heads of a number of ministries, heads and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan, rectors of the higher education establishments, national and foreign journalists. Ambassadors of Turkmenistan to foreign countries also took part in the briefing via video conferencing.
Speaking at the briefing, the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov said that these projects are the real steps towards Afghanistan’s consistent joining the regional and international economic processes and integration of this country into the system of continental transport and communication relations. He also stressed that in terms of their geo-economic and geopolitical significance the infrastructure facilities in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan go beyond the regional framework. According to him, a new belt of transport and communication links and energy supplies of the continental importance is being created in the territories of the two countries, connecting Central and South Asia with Europe and the Middle East. The foreign minister confirmed the invariability of Ashgabat’s position on providing comprehensive political, diplomatic and economic support to Afghanistan, which is part of Turkmenistan’s integrated long-term strategy for cooperation with this state.
Minister of Energy of Turkmenistan Charymyrat Purchekov, Counselor of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Turkmenistan Ahmad Tarik Nurzade, Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalya German, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat Natalya Drozd and Director of the Permanent Mission of the Asian Development Bank in Turkmenistan Chang Ching Yu also spoke at the briefing.
The speakers noted that the implementation of Turkmenistan’s initiatives contributes to increasing the volume and expanding the geography of electricity exports, as well as the transport and transit potential of the entire region. In conclusion, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan answered questions from journalists.