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13.08.03á10:02

BETWEEN EAST AND WEST
Turkmenistan renovated and widened its main "Sea gates" on the Caspian sea

The five-year overhaul of the Turkmenbasy port (former Krasnovodsk) on the Caspian Sea has been completed.

According to information of the administration of "Turkmendenizyollary" (the Turkmen Shipping Association) repair of cargo cranes was the last stage of reconstruction implemented at the initiative of President Saparmurat Niyazov. Out of $40 mln. spent on reconstruction, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provided $30 mln on credit.

Turkish company STFA that won the international tender to become a general contractor of this project has renovated three cargo terminals. One of them has been fit up to accommodate big-tonnage (over 500 tons) cargo. The railways and automobile roads approaching the port were repaired.

In addition a new drainage system has been built in the port to protect its constructions from underground and sewage waters. Modern refinery outfit and electricity system has been installed as well. The warehouses have also been modernized.

The port's technical refit was an important part of the project. Five powerful trailers "MAZMAN", fifteen auto-lift tracks "KAMATCHU" have been added to the park of equipment and special machines. There is a mobile heavy-lifting crane with a computer-controlled system in the park of the Turkmen Shipping Association. Its cargo carrying capacity is 500 tons in the radius of 3-5 m and 100 tons - in the radius of 15 m.

The seaport terminals capacity has increased considerably after reconstruction, and now they can take in all types of ships. In fact, over 2 mln tons of cargo have been carried at the terminals of dry cargo and ferry ships in seven months of 2003, which is two times up than in 2001. And the total amount of the passed tonnage including oil terminals of Kenar township has reached 6.5 mln tons.

In opinion of "Turkmendenizyollary" administration, "the national marine ships registered in Turkmenbashi port has contributed to much extent to the increase in cargo carrying capacity. Dry cargo ships "Saparmurat Niyazov", "Turkmenistan", "Makhmumkuli", the ocean type ship "Balkan" make regular freight shipping to the ports of all Caspian states mainly by contracts with foreign companies".

One more route to Makhachkala has been put into operation in addition to the traditional ferry routes "Turkmenbashi - Astrahan" and "Turkmenbashi - Baku". Russian commercial ferry "Petrovsk" that specializes on carrying trains has made a few test hauls on this route.

Thus, Turkmenistan has made a new serious step towards strengthening its role of the regional transit center, a peculiar bridge between Europe and Asia.

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Oraz MAMEDOV

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