Turkmenistan Decrees Investment Plan to 2025

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has decreed a seven-year investment plan out to 2025 and ended the free supply of gas to homes.

Investments in Turkmenistan’s oil and gas sector over the next seven years will amount to 159.9bn manat ($46bn at the current exchange rate), according to the country’s 2018-24 socio-economic development program. Overall economic investment over the seven-year peiod, including in oil and gas, is projected to be $68.57bn. Both figures are understood to assume some private investment though how much was not disclosed. 

Berdimuhamedov presented the program to the country’s Council of Elders October 10 and signed a decree on its approval the same day.

Much of the planned investment is in petrochemical projects. But others cited include a 600,000 t/yr natural gas-to-gasoline project due for start-up at Ovadendepa 'by 2024'; previous reports had indicated such a project would be commissioned late 2018. A gas compressor station is due for completion also by 2024 at the country’s Malay field, on the route of the planned Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline – but the plan is less clear about whether TAPI will be operational by then. Many experts however believe that TAPI will be stalled by ongoing fighting in Afghanistan.

The government though never publishes actual investments or gas production and export data – so it’s not possible to indicate how its investment targets compare with outcomes. According to the World Bank though, Turkmenistan’s GDP declined from $43.5bn in 2014 to $36.2bn last year due to low oil prices although GDP growth is estimated to reach 6.5% in 2017 and 6.3% in 2018.

According to the International Monetary Fund, investment inflows rose moderately in Turkmenistan by 3% to $4.5bn last year, as South Korea's Daewoo  began building an iron smelter, and various investors including China’s CNPC started work to expand the Galkynysh gas field.

Turkmenistan’s gas output reached 66.8bn m3 in 2016 and its electricity generation the same year was 22.6 terawatt-hours, according to BP’s estimates. Berdimuhamedov forecast that the latter would reach 33 TWh by 2024.

He also announced October 10 an end to free gas, power and water supply, with energy prices to increase gradually.

The government announced that households will pay $5.10/’000m3 for gas starting November 1. Turkmen gas consumption in 2016 was about 29.5bn m3, according to the latest BP Statistical Review, equivalent to 44% of its production.

Dalga Khatinoglu, Ilham Shaban