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caspian weekly roundup

Caspian Weekly Roundup

Author:Caspian Policy Center

Jul 24, 2018

Energy

SOCAR Buys New Gas Pipeline Networks in Georgia
SOCAR Georgia Gas, a subsidiary of Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, has acquired gas pipelines in a number of Georgian districts with a total length of 594,000 running meters, according to the order published on the official website of Georgia’s government. The gas pipelines have been transferred to the company for 21.3 million lari ($9.5 million at the current exchange rate) in a direct sale.
Wind Farm to Be Built in West of Kazakhstan
The wind power plant with a capacity of 42 megawatts will be built in Mangistau region of Kazakhstan, the press service of the governor of the region reported July 23. The signing of a Memorandum of cooperation on the implementation of the project of construction of a wind power plant in the area of Fort-Shevchenko city has taken place at the regional governor’s office, the message says. The document was signed by the "South Wind Power" LLP and Horgos Jiuhe SilkBridge New Energy Co companies and Head of Mangistau oblast administration Yeraly Tugzhanov, the message said. The investors are planning to build 17 wind generators with a capacity of 2.5 kilowatts according to the terms of the contract. It is planned to allocate 60 million for these purposes.
Russia's Novatek Ships First LNG Cargo to China via the Arctic
On July 19, China received the first ever liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from Russian natural gas producer Novatek via the Northern Sea Route (NSR) alongside the Arctic coast. The shipments of LNG from Yamal LNG project via the NSR to China cut transportation times by nearly half - to 15 days - and thus saving time and Suez Canal fees incurred on the westward route. The $27 billion Yamal project, which is developed by Novatek and France’s Total despite U.S. sanctions, is the world's largest Arctic LNG project and the first large-scale energy cooperation project to be implemented in Russia after the “Belt and Road” initiative. China’s National Energy Administration said China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) would start lifting at least 3 million tonnes of LNG from Yamal starting in 2019.
SOCAR's Interest for Uzbekistan Hints at Greater Oil and Gas Exploration Potential
Recent interest in exploration projects in Uzbekistan from Korea National Oil Corporation and Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR (with BP) attests to greater optimism about the country's exploration potential, Ashley Sherman, principal analyst, Caspian & Europe Upstream oil and gas, at Wood Mackenzie, told Trend. Uzbekistan's economic reforms - most notably currency liberalization and convertibility - are having a positive impact on the oil and gas sector of the country, according to Sherman.
Kulevi Port Received More Than 2,200 Vessels
The port of Kulevi oil terminal of SOCAR’s asset in Georgia has received and departed over 2,200 vessels since it began operations. The port started working in May 2008 and operates year-round without interruptions. The successful operation of the port is due to the maintenance of navigation depths at the access channel and its internal harbor. The terminal’s capacity is 10 million tons of oil cargo per year, including three million tons of oil, three million tons of diesel fuel and four million tons of fuel oil.

Security

Central Asian Countries and the U.S. to Discuss Security Issues in Tashkent
A regular meeting of the Working group on security in the Central Asian countries – US cooperation format (C5+1) was held in Tashkent on July 23. ”Representatives of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the United States will discuss topical issues of regional security, the fight against terrorism and countering violent extremism," the press service of the Foreign Ministry stated.
Russian and Kazakh Warships Arrive in Baku
On July 23, the Volgodonsk and Makhachkala corvettes, the SB-45 rescue tugboat of the Caspian Flotilla of the Russian Navy, and the Mangistau rocket and artillery ship of the Kazakh Navy arrived in Baku, according to Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry. The ships will compete in the international competition Sea Cup 2018, to be held in the territorial waters of Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea.
Iran President to Visit Uzbekistan in August
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to pay an official visit to Uzbekistan next month, according to Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture. President Rouhani will head a high-ranking economic delegation on a visit to Tashkent in August, Trend’s correspondent in Tehran said on July 22 citing sources at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture. The president is scheduled to meet senior officials in Uzbek capital. The two sides are due to discuss bilateral ties as well as global and regional developments.
Military Police from Iran Arrived in Russia to Participate in the Military Exercise
On July 21, 16 members of a squad of the Islamic Republic of Iran military police arrived at the Vnukovo Airport for the participation of the “Guardian of Order” International Army Games (IAG) 2018, which will be held at the Alabino training ground near Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Defense reports. The welcoming ceremony was attended by representatives of the Iran Embassy in Russia, military attaché of Iran, representatives of the Main Administration of the Military Police of the Russian Ministry of Defense. It is noted that this is the first time that the representatives of the armed force of Iran participate in the contest of the International Army Games.
Russia Successfully Tests New Air Defense Missile
Russia tested a new air defense missile from a range in Kazakhstan, according to an announcement from the Defense Ministry on July 20. The weapon successfully engaged its targets and is now in military service. The anti-missile system is meant to defend against attacks from air and space.

Economy

Azerbaijan Plans to Increase Exports to Russia
Azerbaijan plans to increase its exports to Russia by the end of 2018, trade representative of Azerbaijan to Russia Ruslan Aliyev said on July 23. "The main share in the increase in exports will fall on fruits and vegetables (persimmon, hazelnuts, tomatoes, potatoes), jet kerosene, cotton, aluminum and others," Aliyev said. He also noted that it is planned to open new wine houses of Azerbaijan in Russia in the near future.
TRACECA May Be Integrated with China’s Belt and Road Initiative
It was announced on July 20 that representatives of the Azerbaijan Railways, the Baku International Sea Trade Port, the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC, and the Economy Ministry of Azerbaijan repeatedly made visits to China to negotiate with the Chinese Ministry of Transport about the transportation of Chinese goods through TRACECA. According to the TRACECA international transport cooperation program, national secretary on Azerbaijan Akif Mustafayev, the Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia (TRACECA) representation in Azerbaijan may hope for cooperation and integration with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. "We would like a certain part of the Chinese cargo going to Europe and the US to pass through our corridor," Mustafayev said. "The main flow of container cargo from China is transported through Russia and Belarus. Although this way is longer, it represents a certain benefit for shippers from China, in particular, due to low customs tariffs." TRACECA is an international cooperation program in the field of transport between the EU and partner countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. In January-June 2018, cargo transit through Azerbaijan’s territory via TRACECA increased by more than 3 percent.
Online Agro-Exchange Launched in Kazakhstan's Kyzylorda
The "Agrobirzha" online resource has been launched in Kyzylorda region of Kazakhstan, where it is possible to buy, sell or exchange agricultural products, seeds, agricultural machinery, fertilizers, chemicals and services online, the press service of the regional governor’s office stated. "Agrobirzha" will promote the expansion of markets, the establishment of direct contacts between the buyer and the seller, the increase in export operations, the Head of the Department of agriculture of Kyzylorda region Bakhyt Zhakhanov said. (Sources: Azer News, Azer Tag, Council of Europe Communications, Eurasia Daily Monitor, Financial Times, NDTV, Xalq Qazeti, Radio Free Liberty Radio Liberty, Reuters, Trend, Trend News Agency, Xinhua News, and Риа Новости.)

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