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Turkmen Report: September 13, 2004

13 September 2004
Turkmenistan Increases Production Of Liquefied Gas
Another gas-liquefying unit has begun operation at the Nayyp gas plant in Turkmenistan, ITAR-TASS reported on 9 September. It can produce 32,500 tons of liquefied gas and 20,000 tons of gas condensate a year, thus bringing Turkmenistan's annual production capacity up to 460,000 tons. In 1997 this number stood at 17,000 tons, the state-owned Turkmengas company said.

The project's main contractor, the Canadian Thermodesign Engineering Company, provided equipment and technology for the last two units at the Nayyp gas plant. The plant's capacity increased by 10 percent to 112,500 tons of liquefied gas and 72,000 tons of gas condensate. (ITAR-TASS)

Three Diagnostic Centers And Highway To Be Opened In Turkmenistan
On the eve of the third anniversary of the publication of "Rukhnama" on 12 September, Turkmenistan will unveil several new large facilities, reported on 8 September. Diagnostic centers equipped with modern medical equipment produced by the German company Siemens will open in three cities -- Ashgabat, Mary, and Dashoguz � and in the administrative centers of two regions. An opening ceremony for a new highway will take place in the southern outskirts of Ashgabat. (

Itera, NRB Confirm Interest In Turkmen Oil Project
The international energy group Itera and Russia's National Reserve Bank (NRB) reiterated their commitment to the Zarit offshore oil project in Turkmenistan, Interfax reported on 7 September, citing the Turkmen president's press service.

Itera head Igor Makarov briefed President Niyazov on progress towards an agreement to explore and produce oil at three offshore blocks (Nos. 29, 30 and 31) at a meeting in Ashgabat. "The high interest of all the Zarit co-owners in participating in the joint project was reiterated," the source said.

"Development of the Caspian's colossal hydrocarbon reserves is one of Turkmenistan's economic priorities," Niyazov said at the meeting. "Three-dimensional seismic exploration indicates that the offshore blocks contain huge energy resources, hence the strong interest shown by potential investors and developers," Niyazov added.

Makarov and Yurii Kudimov, the chairman of NRB, which intends to finance the project, told reporters after the meeting with Niyazov that the meeting resolved most issues regarding preparations for the Zarit project. They said an agreement to develop the three blocks could be signed soon. (Interfax)

Niyazov Orders Deputies To Report On Feasibility Of Increasing Wages, Pensions, And Educational Allowances In 2005
At a regular cabinet session on 7 September, President Niyazov ordered his deputies to prepare a detailed account of the feasibility of a 50 percent increase in wages for all workers as well as in pensions and educational allowances starting on 1 January 2005, reported the next day. The feasibility report is supposed to be prepared by 1 October.

According to the Turkmen leader, the next rise in wages and social payments will be possible due to the sustainable and dynamic development of the country's economy. Commenting on the country's economic performance in the first eight months of this year, Niyazov noted that Turkmenistan's gross domestic product grew by 21.2 percent, with industrial growth of 22.7 percent and agriculture production by 20.5 percent. (