Editor’s note: This four-part report is being produced in cooperation with the agency for transport and communications and the foreign office of Turkmenistan.
Most of the information contained in this report is already in public domain in bits and pieces. However, this is the first time that it is being presented in a single narrative.
Some editorial adjustments have been made to the material without altering the facts and figures. Ed.
Transport complex of Turkmenistan
Thanks to the consistent policy of the head of state in the field of transport and communications in the era of power and happiness, large infrastructure projects of both national and international importance are being successfully implemented. Paying special attention to the implementation of the logistics potential of the country, which is located in a favorable geopolitical location and is a link between the countries passing along the route of the Great Silk Road, but on the initiative of the leader of the nation, new International transport and transit corridors are being created.
As an example, the Lapis Lazuli corridors (Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey), North-South (Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran), Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman corridor (Ashgabat agreement) can serve as an example. West-East Corridor – originating from the port of Turkmenbashi and reaching the border crossing point of Uzbekistan “Farap” and the border crossing points of Afghanistan “Imamnazar” and “Serkhetabad”. This corridor connecting the transport arteries of the entire Caspian in the port in Turkmenbashi is the hallmark of Central Asia, through which cargoes from Europe, the USA, and Asia pass. In winter, when the Volga-Don canal, which connects the Black and Caspian Seas, is closed, the Caucasian corridor Poti-Baku-Turkmenbashi is used, as well as in the opposite direction.
Turkmenistan plays one of the key roles in the field of maritime (transportation in the Caspian basin. Sea transportation is under the coordination of the Türkmendenizderýaýollary Agency, which is the central executive body in the field of water transport, authorized in the field of public administration in the field of merchant shipping and pursuing state policy in sphere of water transport within Turkmenistan.
In 2018, a new international seaport of Turkmenbashi was opened. The total area of the port is over 150 hectares. To ensure the approach of ships to the berth, a colossal amount of work was carried out to excavate about 10 million cubic meters of soil and deepen the seabed.
The total length of the berth with a width of 20 meters is 3,600 meters, which allows several cargo and passenger ships to arrive, depart and be serviced at the port at the same time.
The port includes ferry and passenger terminals, container terminals, general and bulk cargo terminals.
In addition to the berthing hydraulic structures, numerous coastal infrastructure facilities have been built in the port, including transport support: roads with overpasses with a total length of almost 4,000 meters and about 30,000 meters of railway lines.
The total throughput of the International Turkmenbashi Port averages about 17 million tons of cargo per year, excluding oil products, including 300 thousand passengers, 75 thousand trucks, 400 thousand containers, 3 million tons of bulk and 4 million tons of general cargo, at the same time can take 17 ships.
Ferry passenger terminal – buildings of the passenger terminal allow to provide high-quality service for passengers, trucks and vehicles between the seaports of the Caspian Sea. This terminal has a technical inspection center, a disinfection building, a railway control building and a truck stop. With a total area of 230,000 square meters, the passenger terminal is capable of handling 300,000 passengers and 75,000 vehicles per year. On the territory of the terminal there is a hotel with 50 beds. The terminal has a berth equal to 256 meters, which is designed to pass the train on one side and vehicles on the other.
The passenger terminal building has a ticket office, a currency exchange office, an information desk, a check-in desk, a quarantine zone for plants and animals, work rooms, a VIP hall, luggage compartments, passport control, automated equipment, electronic passages, and outdoor recreation terraces.
Container terminal, with a total area of 249,000 square meters, the container terminal handles 400,000 containers per year. With a total berth length of 480 meters, the terminal is able to simultaneously receive 3 vessels with a total carrying capacity of up to 5000 tons, which contributes to the development of exports and imports, connecting the logistics infrastructure of Turkmenistan; railways, air and sea lines. The terminal has 2 ship cranes with a lifting capacity of 70 tons each, capable of handling 30 containers per hour, 2 railway cranes with a lifting capacity of 48 tons each and 6 wheeled cranes with a lifting capacity of 45 tons each, as well as vehicles for moving and stacking containers with a lifting capacity of 25, 45 and 50 tons. The terminal has covered warehouses with a total area of 9984 square meters, a sorting warehouse with a total area of 3060 square meters.
The Ship Control Center was built to ensure the safe navigation of ships calling at the port and is equipped with modern world-class navigation equipment recommended by the International Maritime Organization. In addition, next to this building there is a fire safety building and a medical center equipped with modern equipment.
Bulk Cargo Terminal – With a total capacity of 3,000,000 tons of cargo per year, the Bulk Cargo Terminal is built to handle and store bulk cargo such as iron ore, cement, coal, cereals, sugar, salt and other bulk cargo. With a berth length of 440 meters, the terminal is able to simultaneously serve 3 vessels with a total carrying capacity of up to 5,000 tons each. The terminal is equipped with 3 railway cranes with a capacity of 42 tons, 2 belt conveyors with a capacity of 650 tons of bulk cargo per hour, 5 wheel loaders with a capacity of 20 tons and 1 mobile crane with a capacity of 20 tons. In addition to grain storage, the terminal has 14 silos with a total capacity of 35,000 cubic meters and 8 cement silos with a total capacity of 6,000 cubic meters. The terminal has an open warehouse with an area of 37,000 square meters and covered warehouses with a total area of 8,512 square meters.
General cargo terminal – The total area of the general cargo terminal is 261,000 square meters. With the capacity to handle 4,000,000 tons of cargo per year, the terminal is designed for the loading and unloading of steel, iron, wood materials, vehicles, equipment and heavy loads. With a berthing length of 625 meters, the general cargo terminal has the ability to simultaneously handle 4 vessels with a total carrying capacity of 5,000 tons. This terminal has 6 railway cranes with a lifting capacity of 20 tons and 1 wheeled mobile crane with a lifting capacity of 84 tons, as well as two 330-ton cranes and a 1,500-ton transporter for heavy and oversized cargo. There are also various forklift trucks with a lifting capacity from 3 to 60 tons. The terminal has an open warehouse with an area of 75,000 square meters and covered warehouses with an area of 26,394 square meters.
Polypropylene terminal – it is capable of processing up to 120,000 tons of polypropylene per year. It can simultaneously receive up to 3 vessels with a carrying capacity of up to 5000 tons. The terminal has a closed warehouse with a capacity of up to 18,750 tons.
The Turkmen fleet includes tankers for the transportation of oil and oil products, auto-passenger ferries and dry cargo ships. In order to replenish the Turkmen fleet, work has begun on organizing the construction of 2 Ro-Ro type vessels and the 1st dry cargo ship at the Balkan shipyard.
The open joint stock company “Shipbuilding and ship repair plant “Balkan” in the city of Turkmenbashi is the country’s first step in the creation and repair of ships, as well as a great contribution to the development of the national economy and the country’s worldly and river transport industry.
The total area of the plant is 166,000 m2. The production capacity of the plant allows processing 10,000 tons of steel per year. With the help of modern technological equipment and automation systems that meet international requirements, it is possible to manufacture 4-6 vessels. This production facility has the full capacity to process 2,000 tons of steel and repair 20-30 ships.
The shipbuilding and repair plant is equipped with a system for launching and moving ships with a carrying capacity of up to 10,000 tons in order to lower new manufactured and repaired ships into the water and raise them from the water for repairs.
Wheeled port crane with a lifting capacity of 84 tons, rail cranes with a lifting capacity of 42, 64, 80 tons are used for various industrial purposes. In the administration of the plant, the ship design, project management, supply, repair, production, maintenance, quality and labor safety departments work in a coordinated manner. /// nCa, 21 February 2022 (in cooperation with transport and communications sector and foreign office of Turkmenistan)
To be continued . . .