IMPORTANT RESOURCE OF IMPORT SUBSTITUTION
The 20th Expo exhibition “White City Ashgabat” celebrating the 30th anniversary of the country’s independence and the 140th anniversary of Ashgabat was held at the Expo Centre of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan. It is noteworthy that there was a noticeable increase in the number of participants of the jubilee exhibition representing local producers of building materials. The range of their products has also grown.
This reflects the significant growth in domestically produced building materials at the local market. And the private sector of the economy, namely private companies – members of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, is the main driver of growth in this market segment.
Private companies have achieved good results in the sphere of production of high-quality building materials that meet modern requirements. Interestingly, it was a just few years ago that imported products dominated the construction business. The situation has changed. Architects now give preference to building materials made in Turkmenistan, which are of the same quality as their foreign counterparts. At the same time, they are also competitive in terms of their affordable price.
The construction materials industry of Turkmenistan has demonstrated a record growth in many key areas in recent years. The year 2020 was indicative in this regard following the establishment of the Ministry of Industry and Construction Materials in February of 2020. Since that moment, production of building materials has significantly increased, and this is confirmed by the data provided by the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan.
From 2008 to 2020, production of cement in the country increased by 89.2 percent. Last year, there were produced more than 1.9 million tons of this major building material. During the same period, production of wall materials in Turkmenistan increased by 168.9 percent. Especially noticeable was a 2.7 increase in production of bricks, from 298.9 million in 2008 to 803.9 million bricks last year.
At the height of construction of the Olympic Village in Ashgabat in 2016, production of fittings, corners and profiles in the country reached record 92.9 thousand tons. By 2018, this figure dropped to 53.9 thousand tons, but the growth resumed the following year and reached 60 thousand tons in 2020.
From 2015 to 2020, Turkmenistan reported a 9.6 time increase in production of paint putty, which reached 28.7 thousand tons by the end of 2020.
A multiple growth rate was recorded in production of mastic, which is widely used in construction and repair works. If Turkmenistan produced 132 tons of this material in 2015 alone, then in 2020 this figure increased to 20.9 thousand tons.
An impressive growth has also been achieved in production of isogam, a waterproofing dry material. In 2015, 1.286 million square meters of isogam were produced in Turkmenistan, and by the end of 2020 there were produce more than 7.059 million square meters.
The fastest rates of production of local building materials ensured a significant increase in the growth of housing construction. Compared to 1134.5 thousand square meters of housing commissioned in 2018, this figure reached 2007.1 thousand square meters in 2020.
High construction activity is carried out not only in the capital city but also in all regions of Turkmenistan. In particular, dozens of modern villages with relevant social infrastructure are being built throughout the country. Last year, the Ashgabat City project was announced. A new administrative center of Akhal province is now under construction. In February 2020, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed a decree on the allocation of about USD 1.5 billion for construction of new facilities in this city.
In addition, highways and modern autobahns are being built throughout the country. Construction of the high-speed highway Ashgabat - Turkmenabat is one of such projects. This highway is to be commissioned in December 2023.
Turkmenistan is working on the modernization of the construction materials industry, creation of import-substituting facilities for production of building materials and new jobs, increasing the volume of export-oriented goods and introduction of digital technologies in industrial processes.
The presidential decree “On construction of industrial and production facilities of the Ministry of Industry and Construction Materials of Turkmenistan in 2020-2023” is another incentive for increasing the production capacity of building materials. According to this document, new enterprises of the industry are being actively built in the country and existing ones are being reconstructed.
Thanks to this, as well as the state support for small and medium-sized businesses, positive indicators have been achieved in production of most building materials.
The construction materials industry covers both state-owned, joint-stock and private enterprises. A powerful construction cluster has been created in the Ovadandepe industrial zone of Akhal province, featuring enterprises for production of rolled metal products and fittings, a large aerated concrete plant, a factory for marble and granite processing, as well as the Central Asia largest glass enterprise “T"urkmena'yna"on"umleri” (Turkmen glass products). They all use advanced technologies in their production processes.
Turkmenistan actively develops production of new types of building materials and equipment. For example, “T"urkmena'yna"on"umleri” enterprise is designed to annually produce 1 million square meters of tinted, 100 thousand square meters of laminated, 300 thousand square meters of tempered glass, as well as 400 thousand square meters of double-glazed windows that meet high international standards.
The enterprises of “Deryaplastik” private company produce various polymer products, such as plastic pipes, suspended ceilings, window sills, electrical cables. And in 2017, the country’s first factory for production of earthenware and ceramic sanitary ware was opened under “Deryakeramika” trademark.
The plant for production of ceramic materials in Lebap province became the country’s first fully automated enterprise specializing in production of a wide range of decorative items. Its design capacity is about 200 thousand tons of products or 80 million units of products.
The plant for production of reinforced concrete products under “T"urkmendemirbeton” Association (Turkmen reinforced concrete) in the Byuzmein district of the capital city mastered the technology of manufacturing heat-resistant bricks for reconstruction and construction of industrial furnaces and fireplaces. This is the only enterprise of this kind in the country.
The products of the construction materials industry of Turkmenistan prove their competitiveness both in the domestic and foreign markets. It is for several years now that Turkmen companies have been exporting cement, aerated concrete blocks, glass and double-glazed windows, plumbing plastic and ceramic products, as well as other construction industry products to neighboring countries, as well as to the CIS and Baltic states.
For example, the individual enterprise “L"alezar Zaman” located in Mary province, specializing in production of various types of plastic products, produces up to 10 thousand linear meters of building materials daily for finishing work. At the same time, this enterprise uses raw materials from the Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries and a polymer plant in Kiyanly.
Last year, this enterprise exported over 165 tons of plastic formwork worth over USD 110 thousand to Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Germany, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
Turkmen entrepreneurs successfully master and adopt innovative technologies for production of various building materials. For example, in 2021, the individual enterprise “T"urkmen-Mahabat” mastered the industrial technology of wall painting and manufacturing decorative plaster for interiors of buildings. If in the past finished frescoes were imported, there is now mass production of this product as part of the state program of import substitution. The enterprise now takes orders for decoration of buildings in Ashgabat and Dashoguz.
The private enterprise “Ak Bulut” was one of the first in Turkmenistan to launch the production of suspended ceilings, which are in high demand not only among Turkmen consumers but also abroad. In December 2020, “Ak Bulut” exported 11.5 thousand square meters of suspended ceilings with vinyl covering. “Ak bulut” plans to introduce the production of “smart” ceilings and wall plates. The manufacturing of these products requires mastering the latest technologies that will allow the remote operation of home or office communications through the use of digital technologies.
In December 2020, a ceramic factory with the capacity of 192.5 thousand tons of products or 80 million units was commissioned in the eastern region of the country. All production processes are fully automated on the basis of equipment from Japan, Italy and Spain. Taking into account its capacity and manufacturability, the plant has become one of the largest manufacturers of ceramic products in the Central Asian region, which are widely used in construction of residential buildings and industrial facilities.
Turkmenistan continues exploring new mineral deposits. It is expected that this work will result in strengthening the capacity of the production sector and increasing the output of high-quality building materials and other products, using local raw materials.
As part of the implementation of the presidential decree “On construction of industrial and production facilities of the Ministry of Industry and Construction Materials of Turkmenistan in 2020–2023”, new enterprises fitted with modern equipment are being built in the country and existing ones are being modernized. They produce cement, non-metallic and wall materials, metal products, glass, prefabricated reinforced concrete and large-panel structures, claydite, kaolin, engineering products.
In the course of implementation of state programs to increase the production of import-substituting and export-oriented products in 2020, Turkmenistan built a number of plants equipped with advanced technologies for production of building materials from local raw materials, including a plant for production of high-quality ceramic products in Lebap province, a large factory for reinforced concrete products in Akhal province and a plant for production of dry building mixtures and gypsum board in Balkan province.
Production of cement is one of the strategically important segments of the national industrial complex. Turkmenistan’s cement plants currently produce cement of various grades that meet international standards. New cement plants with the annual production capacity of 1 million tons of products each are also under construction in Akhal and Lebap provinces. Putting them into operation will significantly increase the supply of one of the major building materials for the needs of the construction materials industry.
Focusing on the importance of uninterrupted supply of construction materials for new construction projects in the country, the head of state aims to further accelerate the work on construction of new facilities for production of import-substituting products and greater use of local raw materials which the Turkmen land possesses in abundance.