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OPEC Fund strengthens maritime transport in Turkmenistan
Photo: anucha sirivisansuwan/Shutterstock.com
March 29, 2022: The OPEC Fund for International Development has signed a US$45 million loan agreement with Turkmenistan to support the construction of three sea vessels for transporting railway cars, passengers and dry cargo to boost trade and strengthen the country’s shipbuilding capacity.
Under its Marine Merchant Fleet Project, which is also co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank, Turkmenistan aims to expand its role in maritime transport in the Caspian Sea region by increasing vessel capacity and enhancing the efficiency of Turkmenbashi International Seaport.
The new ships will be constructed at the Balkan shipyard, an integrated part of the seaport, which is an important component of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor and one of the largest ports in Turkmenistan. Once completed, the project is expected to raise annual freight transport capacity by one million tons and increase passenger numbers by 20,000 per year, as well as reduce freight costs and cargo waiting time.
Training in shipbuilding and repair will also provide technology-transfer and create additional job opportunities, particularly for young graduates.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “This project is an important catalyst to boost Turkmenistan’s capacity as a seafaring nation in the Caspian Sea region and it will help unlock the significant potential in trade and economic activity. New, faster and better transport connections will support sustainable development and contribute to economic growth and resilience. The OPEC Fund is pleased to strengthen its relationship with Turkmenistan.”
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries exclusively. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct purpose: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, the OPEC Fund has committed more than US$22 billion to development projects in over 125 countries with an estimated total project cost of US$187 billion. The OPEC Fund is rated AA+/Outlook Stable by Fitch and AA/Outlook Positive by S&P in 2021. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.