ASHGABAT May 30 Turkmenistan, holder of the
world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves, said on Friday it
had secured a total of $2.5 billion in loans from Japan's and
South Korea's export credit banks for construction of a gas
Japan's Toyo Engineering Corp said this month that
its consortium with three South Korean firms had been awarded a
$3 billion contract for the complex in western Turkmenistan by
state concern Turkmengas.
"The State Bank of Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan
has struck a credit agreement for $700 million with Japan Bank
for International Cooperation and another one worth
$1.8 billion with Korea Eximbank for 10 years to finance
construction of the plant in the Balkan region of the country,"
said a government official, who declined to be identified.
Turkmengas will finance the rest of the contract.
The economy of Turkmenistan, a Central Asian nation of 5.5
million, has grown at an annual rate exceeding 10 percent in
recent years, owing mainly to rising natural gas exports to
China via a pipeline launched at the end of 2009.
But the country also aspires to diversify the economy,
investing billions of dollars in construction of plants to yield
value-added oil and gas products.
Toyo's partners in the consortium are Hyundai Engineering Co
Ltd, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co
and LG International Corp.
The complex, to be built in the Turkmenbashi district near
the Caspian Sea, will produce ethylene, high-density
polyethylene, and polypropylene from natural gas produced on the
Caspian Sea shelf, Toyo said after winning the contract.
Facilities, to be completed in 2018, include a gas
separation unit with capacity of 5 billion cubic metres per
year, an ethylene production unit with capacity of 400,000
tonnes per year (tpy) and a polypropylene production unit with
80,000 tpy capacity.
(Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing
by Dale Hudson)