The greatest foreign project in the History of sovereign Belarus in the hottest point of Turkmenistan.
On March 31, the two presidents launched the Garlyk mining and processing plant in the Karakum Desert.
The plant was built by Belarusian specialists
and cost $1 billion. The plant is capable of manufacturing up to 1 million tonnes of product annually.
Thanks to this industrial giant Turkmenistan must become the flagship of potash industry in Central Asia.
The Garlyk mining and processing plant is located in a desert, 800 kilometers away from Ashkhabad. It is practically on the border with Afghanistan. Belarusian and Turkmenian presidents laid the first stone into the basement of the plant in 2009. It seemed something unreal. The salt deposit was known about in the Soviet times. However, nobody took up the decision of developing the deposits then, due to the hard geological and climatic conditions.
To establish a plant in a desert, communications, electricity, gas and roads were needed. It was a hard task, even for an economy the Soviet Union had. After Turkmenistan gained independence,
Turkey took up the development of the salt deposits, but failed to fulfil its tasks.
Summer of 2009. Belarusian and Turkmenian presidents laid a capsule in the foundation of the future mining and processing plant. Some eight years on Alexander Lukashenko returned to Turkmenistan to take part in the grand opening of the industrial giant.
Specialists say that there will be enough of potash deposits for a minimum of 50 years.
However, it is quite difficult to reach the reserves. To get to the reserves, Belarusian had to use the freezing technology of the subsea waters. Specialists had to make their way through the deposits in a protective “ice glass”, which was made by using the freezing technology.
An excursion was held for the two presidents, they got acquainted with the national culture and traditional crafts of Turkmenistan.
The Garlyk deposit is an amazingly rich place. Everything found in the earth’s depth can be exported. As many as 5000 tonnes have already been extracted; everything was exported to the neighboring Afghanistan.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
You know, I was surprised to hear that as many as 5000 tonnes of potassium fertilizers were produced. Then I thought to myself, what is my friend is going to do with all of this? And he gives the first lot to his neighbor. Well done! This is how you should live, then you’ll be respected, everyone will lean towards you and will be thankful.
It is the greatest decision to give it away.
You know, it doesn’t cost the Garlyk mining and processing plant anything, but it’s a symbolic step, which doesn’t only raise the President, but the people of Turkmenistan as well. It’s a worthy step.
Mine workers will remember for a long time, how they were building the Garlyk plant in the summer heat of 60 °C.
Anton Manko, builder:
It was very difficult to get to the building site. We had to travel through the desert and eve by two planes. Anyway, it was very difficult.
It took us more than one day and a half to get to the building site.
It is the first major foreign project in the history of sovereign Belarus. However, Belarus is not going to stop just there.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, what had to be done? Giant plants were left. We admire this plant, but a plant like this in Belarus is five times bigger, just try imagining that. Today two more complexes are being built. One of the plants will be private, the other one will be state. They are similar to the plant, with the same amount of extracted ore, potassium salts, even more than at the Garlyk plant. And then I and the people on this land got this high tech large object. Many of the Soviet Republics understood that they don’t need it and neglected all the technologies. I kept it in my mind. I suppose half of what we can do isn’t necessary for Belarus. However, schools were established, wonderful specialists were trained. The whole education system was orientated at high technology.
And we made a decision to preserve everything that we got from this great country, no matter what it cost.
These technologies are not my merit and not the merit of this generation. Sorry for not being modest, but our merit is that we didn’t sell it and preserved it. Belarus can do everything.
The journalists gave the Garlyk mining and processing plant the name of an industrial pearl, just before the official opening plant. First of all it is food supply security. What is more, as many as 1500 vacancies were established at the plant at its initial stage. The majority of specialists who will be working at the plant received their education in Belarus.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan:
By launching the Garlyk mining and processing plant, I would say that more than 1600 new vacancies will appear, which will improve the living conditions of the population.
The Garlyk plant is a whole industrial city. Two major productions are at the forefront, The building of the plant is the first step in the development of chemical and processing industries of the country, it is the transition from the resource-based economy to the processing stage. Despite the fact that the Garlyk mining and processing Plant is a direct competitor o Belarusian Belaruskali, the two companies are going to process on a partnership basis.
I think that together with you, Gurbanguly, we’ll be able to build a mine even on a shield, after going through a river and freezing it down to -30°C. And having an opportunity to speak in front of ambassadors of other countries I would like to say if you need to deep through the earth, build a mine, invite Belarus, we’ll certainly do it for you.
We’ll do the project, involve our builders, who worked in Turkmenistan, and we’ll do it for you.
The most crucial moment. The symbolic button, by pressing It the giant machine of the mining and processing plant was launched. From this very moment Turkmenian agrarians have their own potash fertilizers.
President Lukashenko left a record in the book of honored guests of the plant, as a reminder of the global joint cooperation of Belarus and Turkmenistan.
The launching of the plant is a signal to the entire world. Belarusian specialists can do everything. During the official visit of Alexander Lukashenko to Turkmenistan ambitious projects were discussed. There are offers from other countries as well. It is the authority Belarus earned here, in Turkmenistan. It is valued a lot in Eastern countries.