TAPI Pipeline – bridge to lower carbon footprint

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 16:09

Speaking at the International Forum "Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan" (OGT-2022), Executive Director of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited Muhammetmyrat Amanov spoke about the role of natural gas as a bridge to reduce the carbon footprint.

Thus, as a clean fossil fuel, natural gas can play a key role in the coming years in reducing energy poverty, thereby promoting economic growth and electrification. Natural gas generates 30% less carbon dioxide than conventional fuels and 45% less than coal.

In turn, integrating natural gas and renewable energy sources into electricity generation ensures energy security and sustainability.

According to Rystard Energy, against the background of the pandemic in 2020, natural gas production in the world decreased by 3.5% and amounted to 3.918 billion cubic meters. m. However, the agency's experts predict not only the rapid recovery of the industry, but also the growth of gas production by 24% by 2040.

Gas, as the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, will replace not only coal, but also nuclear energy, since a number of countries consider this direction to be potentially dangerous. Therefore, demand for gas will grow at the fastest pace among fossil fuels.

Poisonous Link - Why Russia’s Crimea Bridge Is Dangerous for Ukraine and the Black Sea Region

Published in World
Monday, 25 June 2018 02:36

On 14 March, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited his last destination in the pre-election tour—occupied Crimea. The first thing he inspected there was the Crimea bridge, a project set to link continental Russia with the newly-annexed territory.

Currently, Russians have to deliver goods and people to the peninsula only via planes, ships or ferries, as there is no connection by land. In order to change this, the Kremlin decided to build a 19-kilometer-long bridge across the Kerch Strait which separates Crimea from Russia’s Krasnodar Krai. The project was agreed in January 2015. The contract for the construction worth $3 billion was signed with SGM Group, which belongs to Russian oligarch Arkady Rotenberg, a close friend of Putin.

In May 2015, construction of the bridge commenced; the road bridge is planned to open on 18 December, 2018, while completion of the rail link has been delayed until the end of 2019. Delays have increased the cost of the project significantly. As of 1 March, 2018, the project’s costs had exceeded $4 billion.

Meanwhile, even at the construction stage, the bridge causes irreversible harm to the ecology of the Black Sea and Azov Sea. Additionally, it also damages Ukraine’s economy and puts political pressure on Kyiv. Here are the major reasons why the Crimea bridge is dangerous for Ukraine and for the entire Black Sea region.


The bridge damages Ukraine’s economy

As the Azov Sea is the place where Ukrainian and Russian economic interests intersect, this Russian project will inevitably damage the economy of the region and Ukraine as a whole.

First and foremost, the project of Crimea bridge set limits on the number of ships which head to Azov Sea ports through the Kerch Strait. Konstantin Batozsky, the director of Azov Development Agency, explains to UkraineWorld that all ships longer than 160m, wider than 31m, whose draft is bigger than 8 meters, or are higher than 33 meters, will not physically be able to pass under the bridge. Panamax ships, a popular type of cargo vessels, do not fit in these limits.  “This will limit the amount and range of cargo which could be shipped to and from Mariupol and Berdyansk — Ukrainian Azov Sea ports — significantly,” says Batozsky. For instance, metallurgy products and containers will now have to be shipped through Black Sea ports. This fact means that more money will be spent on the transportation of goods by land, while the infrastructure of the ports in Mariupol and Berdyansk will degenerate. Such a scenario could lead to enormous non-receipt of profits, which would add up to those sums caused by the annexation of Crimea.

Additionally, these limits potentially do not allow Ukraine to potentially launch gas and oil field exploration in the shelf of the Azov Sea. Offshore equipment necessary for the exploration is larger than the limits set by the Crimea bridge, Batozsky points out. As a result, this option for Ukraine to strengthen its energy security is closed.

It is an instrument of Russian aggression against Ukraine

The Crimea bridge is first and foremost a political project, which is aimed to achieve several goals with one shot.

First, it is set to secure the annexation of Crimea. “For Putin, the Crimea Bridge is comparable to the Baikal–Amur Mainline [a major railroad built in the Soviet Union to connect Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East],” says Alim Aliyev, the manager of The Crimea House, in a conversation with UkraineWorld. According to him, Putin intends to use the bridge to show people in Crimea that Russia cares about them. Meanwhile, the bridge would allow Russia to move all kinds of cargo quickly to the peninsula, including military equipment, thus securing the annexation.

Second, Russia, will be able to close the Kerch Strait for all ships. Such a move would effectively turn the Azov Sea into a lake and enable a trade blockade of Ukrainian ports. Russia could use this in number of ways. For instance, the blockade could be leverage to make Kyiv resume energy and water supplies to the peninsula.

It should be noted that Russia’s actions violate the previous agreement between Ukraine and Russia on common use of the Kerch Strait. Russia also goes against the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which says that states bordering straits shall not hinder transit passage and shall inform accordingly about any known threats to navigation in the strait. This potentially gives Ukraine an opportunity to sue Russia, but this has not happened so far. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry did not respond to UkraineWorld comment request regarding this.

It is potentially dangerous for the ecosystem of the Black and Azov Seas

Construction works have already had an effect on the ecosystem of the Black and Azov Seas, says Alim Aliev, the manager of The Crimea House, in a conversation with UkraineWorld. When the bridge is finished, the danger will be even more real.

Due to mud volcanoes, seismic activity and a sludgy bottom, the Kerch Strait is hardly suitable for a bridge. Heorhiy Rosnovsky, a Ukrainian architect who has previously drafted two projects of a Kerch Strait bridge, tells Focus magazine in an interview that Russia has chosen the least viable option to implement the project. He says that the current project does not take all the above-mentioned problematic factors into account, so the chance of collapse is rather high.  The collapse of a massive bridge with wide piers would inevitably slow down water flows between the seas through the Kerch Strait. While construction already results in a change of the living environment for all the organisms in both seas, the bridge’s collapse would be a catastrophe. However, the full scale of the bridge’s influence on the Azov and Black Seas cannot be forecast at the present time.

Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Yuriy Lutsenko announced on 12 December, 2017 that Ukraine will submit an appeal to the countries of the Black Sea Cooperation for an investigation to be carried out of the potential damage of the bridge to the ecosystem. However, as of March 2018 no conclusions had been published.

Few considerations, no regards

There is no doubt that the Crimea Bridge will be completed. Pavlo Kazarin, journalist and observer at Krym.Realii, pointed out in a commentary for UkraineWorld that for Putin this project is one of those cases which prove his imperial ambitions. “It does not matter how much money it will cost, as he [Putin] is the one who allocates the funds. The construction could encounter major delays, but it will be completed eventually,” he emphasized.

Putin’s imperial ambitions and vanity have pushed him to rush the Crimea bridge project. Hopefully, haste and corruption during the construction works will not cause its destruction. However, the damage to the region of the Black and Azov Seas, as well as to the Ukrainian economy, has already been done.

Vitalii Rybak is an analyst at Internews Ukraine and at UkraineWorld, an information and networking initiative.

This article has been first published on ukraineworld.org



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Turkmenistan to Become Transcontinental Bridge for Economic Cooperation

Published in World
Wednesday, 02 May 2018 13:41

Speaking at the International Forum “The Great Silk Road: Towards New Frontiers of Development”, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov outlined Turkmenistan’s priorities in international partnership in the field of transport and communication.

Turkmenistan sees the Central Asia as an integral and important link of the Great Silk Road, stressed the head of state. Due to several historical, geopolitical and economic factors this region has played and continues to play a special role not only in continental but also global processes. And it is the Central Asia, what it becomes and which tendencies dominate this region that will largely define the vector of development of the global politics in the foreseeable future.
Throughout centuries these lands were crossed by caravan roads that connected civilizations, and it was on these lands that the natural bridge between the East and the West was created to become the center of intercivilizational dialog. Our aim is to revive this historic predestination of the Central Asia in new conditions and new realities, said the Turkmen leader.
One of the most important activities in reaching these goals is ensuring successful integration of the region into international ties and creating a relevant transport, transit and communication systems. This implies the construction of an extensive, integrated, incorporated transport and communication infrastructure that will cover continental Eurasia and provide access to marine terminals of the Black and Baltic Sea, South and South-Eastern Asia and the Middle East.

This project also involves connecting to the transport infrastructure in southern and eastern directions, creating links to such powerful economic centers as China, India, Pakistan, countries of Asia-Pacific, said the President.

Turkmenistan intends to play the role of a transcontinental economic bridge for cooperation of the European, Asia-Pacific and South-Asian economic systems. Therefore, apart from progressive integration into the global transport system, expansion of the national infrastructure along the key routes and points of connection in the East-West and North-South directions, a set of measures is envisaged to ensure maximum effectiveness of transport routes, decrease the share of transport costs in the value of end products in domestic, transit, export and import traffic.
One of expected outcomes of implementing this strategy is creating a network of intermodal transport and logistics centers. New transport corridors help expand the service market in this sphere. Which in turn requires active marketing and foreign economic policy, optimized tariffs with countries along international transport corridors and a flexible system of tariff preferences, said President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov: Turkmenbashi port opens up new opportunities of cooperation with international and regional structures

Speaking during the International forum “The Great Silk Road: Towards New Frontiers of Development”, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that the new sea port in the strategically important Caspian region provides a large platform for enhancing interregional cooperation, increasing the volumes and improving the quality of transportation, and contributes to establishing the new configuration of the transportation flow.
In addition to the economic and commercial viability of the project, as well as the environmental parameters, it is also of the great geopolitical significance. In this regard, the Turkmen leader expressed belief that the new Turkmenbashi port would have a great positive impact on the political situation in the region and beyond, would promote the cooperation between the Caspian states on a variety of important political issues, would contribute to the stability of the whole system of the continental interstate relations on the principles of trust and balance of interests.
According to the Turkmen leader, it is the multivariate model of traffic flows, the creation of new routes and directions that can ensure the necessary stability and new dynamics to global development, which is especially important against the background of those complex and sometimes crisis phenomena that are observed today in the world economy.
With the commissioning of the new port, the additional prospects for cooperation with international and regional structures are opening up. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan was ready to discuss its various aspects and directions with the partners from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and invited these structures to close interaction.

International Forum on Transport Is Launched in Avaza National Tourist Zone

Representatives of foreign countries, international organizations and major transport and logistics companies were brought together in Turkmenbashi at the International Forum “The Great Silk Road: Towards New Frontiers of Development”.
Members of the Government, representatives from the ministries and sectoral agencies and other relevant authorities participate from the Turkmen side. Among invited guests are the heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Turkmenistan and foreign media professionals.
President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, participated in the plenary session. The agenda of this high-level meeting covers a wide range of issues pertaining to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in all spheres of transport and logistics, including through the effective harnessing of potential of ports.
This representative forum precedes a milestone event, the opening of the new Turkmenbashi International Seaport that aims to become an important transit and transportation hub of regional and continental significance.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Addresses Forum “The Great Silk Road: Towards New Frontiers of Development”

The President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, addressed the International Forum “The Great Silk Road: Towards New Frontiers of Development” that is being held at the Avaza Congress Hall in Turkmenbashi.
The forum began after the picture-taking ceremony for the participants of this high-level meeting.
In his opening remarks, the President of Turkmenistan expressed profound gratitude to all participants for accepting the invitation to attend the International Forum “The Great Silk Road: Towards New Frontiers of Development” and the opening of the Turkmenbashi International Seaport.
Then President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov continued his welcoming address in Russian, one of the official languages of the UN.
We are truly delighted to see high-level representatives of many countries, ministers, heads of international organizations, prominent diplomats, political and public figures from different corners of the world; such broad participation can quite rightly be viewed as a sign of respect for Turkmenistan, said the head of state.

Speaking about the idea on convening this forum, the Turkmen leader noted that the time has come to give thorough and serious consideration to the significance of reviving the Great Silk Road in this century; to analyze those enormous opportunities it may open up for the development and progress of dozens of countries and hundreds of millions of people in the world.
The Great Silk Road today is more than a traffic route between certain geographic locations. It takes on important political, humanitarian, philosophical dimension. Especially in current conditions, against the backdrop of complex, sometimes painful processes that we are witnessing.
The Great Silk Roads aims to connect the East and the West, Asia and Europe, the peoples of these continents based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, trust, and promote mutual understanding and openness.

Noting that in 2018 Turkmenistan celebrates the slogan “Turkmenistan is the Heart of the Great Silk Road”, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that throughout many centuries the territory of our country served as a crossroad of Eurasian routes, the meeting point for cultures, civilizations, customs and traditions. And today, at the new phase of our history, we revive timeless values of the Great Silk Road and do this together with our friends and likeminded allies all over the world.
Issues that will be raised at the Forum are of tremendous practical significance in the context of modern trends of universal development. Global challenges affect all countries and regions and seriously influence the political and socio-economic situation. This is especially important for our region that is rapidly advancing towards becoming a key site for world politics, said the President of Turkmenistan.
A brand new dimension, the transport diplomacy, co-founded by our country that initiated a substantive multilateral dialog on the issue within the UN and other international organizations, is better anchored in global cooperation today.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed his confidence that the substantive dialog on the role of the Great Silk Road will promote a better understanding between the countries, convergence of positions and development of innovative schemes and models of partnership in the long term.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili – today we have to think of ways of rebuilding broken bridges between Abkhazians and Georgians

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 13:05

Today we have to think of ways of healing wounds, of rebuilding broken bridges between Abkhazians and Georgians as well as between Oseetians and Georgians; we have to take gradual steps towards peaceful and solely peaceful restoration of integrity of our country, - Prime Minister of Georgia stated at the Heroes Square and laid the wreath at the Memorial of Heroes Fallen for Integrity of Georgia.
According to the head of the Government, the date of fall of Sokhumi is one of the most tragic events not only in recent history of Georgia, but in general as well.
"As a result of this war, tens of thousands people were killed, hundreds of thousands persons were displaced internally and our territories are occupied. Most importantly, we all apprehend that this is and this was a war against Abkhazians and Georgians and this war did not have a winning side. Of course, we commemorate all fallen soldiers. All of them are heroes. Heroism of soldiers fallen in Abkhazia illuminated path of Georgian military personnel throughout number of other armed conflicts and their heroism was exemplary for each of us. 
Today we have to think of ways of healing wounds, of rebuilding broken bridges between Abkhazians and Georgians as well as between Ossetians and Georgians; we have to take gradual steps towards peaceful and solely peaceful restoration of integrity of our country, we have to reclaim the unity we used to have. This is vitally important for the development of our country and ensuring peaceful life imbued with brotherly feelings with Abkhasians and Ossetians and our children shall also live with Abkhazians and Ossetians as genuine brothers and friends. This is the most important goal for us," - Prime Minister noted. Alongside with the Prime Minister, Cabinet members also commemorated fallen heroes.

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