Launching of four new energy grids at once at two power stations in Turkmenistan has unequivocally confirmed the intention of Ashgabat to become the largest exporter of electricity.
At the outset President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov had personally turned a chopper-switch on at the second gas turbine unit of the Abadan power station, the same former Bezmein station where he started his working career in 1967.
It is remarkable that the Turkmen leader was greeted by the veterans of the station in the gateway of the renovated plant, many of whom Niyazov knows since the 60th of last century. The president not only recalled the episodes of their work and presented them with valuable gifts, but also shared with them his plans on the industry development. According to him the power engineering in the country is developing ahead of schedule.
"In fact, we establish a reserve stock, Niyazov said. Taking into account a rapid industrial development and our export potential, the energy base we are founding today will be enough for many generations ahead. Comparing with present total capacity of our power stations standing at 3,5 thousand MW the figure will grow to 10 thousand MW by 2020".
It is important that quantitative growth is supported by qualitative characteristics. For example, Ashgabat has established a long-term partnership with the USA's "General Electric", through which it has one more time demonstrated the Turkmen government's credo: to choose the best world's technologies in its industrial modernization.
Americans in cooperation with the Turkish "Chalyk Energy" have not limited themselves to Abadan's unit construction. They have commissioned two more gas turbines at the Balkanabat power station that increased its capacity in 3 times. It is important not only in the context of providing the Turkmen oilmen's capital, Balkanabat, and local enterprises with the reliable supply of electricity. Today this region exports electricity to the northern provinces of Iran and will start electricity exports to Turkey in just a month.
Just recently, Ashgabat and Ankara signed an agreement on the supply of 300 mln MW to Turkey at $3,45 per 1 KW at the border with Iran. In case of change in the amounts of electricity supply additional agreements are to be signed with the Turkish company.
Thus, Turkey joins Iran and Afghanistan who already receive electricity from Turkmen power stations on quite beneficial for them terms. Turkmenistan, in turn, earns more dollars from exports through electricity lines.
Anyway, someone may still remain unimpressed by the scope of supplies and figures in contracts.
However, the value of such partnership is measured not only in KW or dollars. With every new implemented contract in the region neighbors have more trust in each other, new plans and projects emerge that make people closer. And this is a basic element of Ashgabat's initiatives on developing regional integration. It means undertaking specific actions without empty words and declarations.