In 2022, Balkan province, the western region of Turkmenistan, produced over 639 tons of iodine with a production growth rate of 103%, the newspaper of the oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan “Nebit-Gaz” reports.
Turkmenistan is recognized as one of the leading countries in iodine reserves and is the first country in the region and the fourth in the world to provide its population with iodized table salt.
Currently, three iodine production enterprises are functioning in the Balkan province: the Balkanabat and Bereket iodine plants of the State Concern Turkmenchimiya, as well as the iodine plant of the private company “Himiya Senagat”.
Most of the technical iodine is exported to world markets.
Western Turkmenistan is very rich in iodine-bromine water, which is used to produce this element.
The concentration of iodine in the underground waters of the Balkan foothills is 25-45 mg/l, and underground waters of the Western Nebitdag and Gumdag it reaches 40-50 mg/l.
The concentration of up to 25-33 mg/l of iodine in the groundwater of Cheleken, Monjukly, Gyzylgum, Boyadag is also proved.
Such indicators allow to produce technical iodine on an industrial scale. Oil fields are notably known for their iodine-bromine fluids. Such water has an iodine content of over 100 milligrams per liter.
In order to process and commercialize valuable raw materials, an iodine production facility of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan was built in Bereket several years ago. The annual capacity of the enterprise is 250 million iodine sticks, 50 million iodine pencils and 500 thousand dental products.
The entire volume of technical iodine produced at the private company “Himiya Senagat”‘s iodine plant, located 130 kilometers from the center of the Balkan province’s Bereket district, is cleaned with a special chemical and brought into compliance with international quality standards. Turkmen technical iodine is required in the production of non-ferrous metals, synthetic rubber, various paints, varnishes, combined feeds, medicines, and especially pure metals in industrial sectors.
The production of iodine in Turkmenistan started with the Balkanabad iodine plant. The plant, located near the village of Uzboy, 27 kilometers from the provincial center, began production in 1969. In September 1975, the product was awarded the quality mark of the USSR State Standard. Turkmenistan accounted for nearly half of the iodine produced in the USSR at the time.
Since August 1994, the company has been producing the purest technical iodine. In 1998, for the high quality of products, this company was awarded the international award “Platinum Star”. In 2000, the production was awarded the International Quality Award in Madrid.
The Khazar Chemical Plant is another iodine-bromine production facility built in 1932 next to wells drilled on the Cheleken Peninsula. In the past, millions of cubic meters of iodine and bromine, valuable industrial raw materials extracted with associated oil, were dumped into the sea. 1 liter of water with oil contains 100-500 mg of bromine and 25-30 mg of iodine.
At one time, the Caspian Chemical Plant was awarded the Diamond Star award by the Mexican Agency for Market Relations for high-quality products. In 2020, the plant joined the Balkanabad Iodine Plant. Currently, the company, which employs 730 skilled workers, extracts this valuable raw material from 52 operating iodine-bromine wells in the village of Uzboy and 260 in the village of Khazar.
Iodine production in Turkmenistan is considered a promising direction of the chemical industry. In the coming years, it is planned to increase the capacity of enterprises for the production of iodine and bromine and their processed products on the territory of the Balkan province. According to the Program of socio-economic development of the Balkan province for 2019-2025, in 2025 the production of technical iodine will reach 1,030 tons. Also, it is planned to launch the production of caustic soda, chlorine and chlorine products at the Balkanabat iodine plant.
In this regard, private enterprises are invited to create an open joint stock company “Balkankhimiyasenagat” together with the State Concern “Turkmenhimiya”. Thus, the reconstruction of the production facilities of the Balkanabat iodine plant and the construction of new small plants are currently underway. Two new small production facilities with a capacity of 60 tons of technical iodine per year will be commissioned there in the near future.
With their commissioning, Turkmen iodine production and export to foreign markets will grow. ///nCa, 16 January 2023