Tag Archives: construction

Georgian PM says he wants new terms on controversial dam

TBILISI/JUNE 9 2021 (The Bulletin) — After months of protests, Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili said that he wanted to renegotiate the terms that Turkish construction company Enka and Norway’s Clean Energy Group were given to build and run the Namakhavani Hydropower Plant in the Rioni Valley in the west of the country. 

Protesters have said that the project, slated to be Georgia’s biggest hydropower plant, damages the countryside and is too lenient towards the foreign investors. The government has said that the Namakhavani Hydropower Plant is vital for its future energy generation projects as it will boost energy production by 15% and must go ahead.

Protesters have blocked access to the site for the past seven months and staged rallies in both Kutaisi and Tbilisi which have attracted thousands of people. Police have made several arrests at some of the protests in the Rioni Valley after clashes with demonstrators.

Enka Renewables, in which Enka owns a 90% stake and Clean Energy Groups owns a 10% stake, signed an $800m deal to build and run the Namakhavani hydropower plant with Georgia in April 2019. 

ENDS

— This story was published in issue 48 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 16 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Kazakh home-building boom pushes up cement prices

JUNE 4 2021 (The Bulletin) — Prices for cement in Kazakhstan have risen because of a boom in house construction, media reported. Industry minister Beibut Atamkulov said that the price of cement was up by 30-40%. The Kazakh government has driven a house building boom, in part to help its economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Cement use has soared across the region. Uzbekistan doubled its cement use in the first four months of the year compared to the same period in 2020.

ENDS

— This story was published in issue 487 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 9 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Azerbaijan promises construction projects to Israeli companies

BAKU/MARCH 9 (The Bulletin) — Azerbaijan’s government has promised Israeli companies contracts to rebuild Nagorno-Karabakh, the region that it took control of last year after a six-week war with Armenia.

Israeli military advice and technology were critical for helping Azerbaijan defeat a well-dug in Armenian army that had held Nagorno-Karabakh since the early 1990s, and analysts said that the contracts were effectively payback for this help.

Media quoted Ibrahim Khazar, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Turkey, as saying that the construction work would concentrate on restoring the region’s “historical and authentic heritage”. He also said that Israeli companies had offered to “rehabilitate” the region.

Analysts have said that rebuilding Nagorno-Karabakh will give Azerbaijan’s construction sector a boost.

ENDS

— This story was published in issue 475 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 15 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Tajik labourers say that Chinese firms abuse them

DUSHANBE/MARCH 5 (The Bulletin) — Tajik labourers working for a Chinese firm constructing a  new government building in Dushanbe have complained of poor conditions and harassment, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported (March 5).

The Tajik workers refused to give their names to reporters because they said that if they were caught complaining, they would be fired. “All heavy and manual work in construction is done by Tajiks, and local workers wear yellow helmets and Chinese wear red hats. Most of them are employers, engineers and office workers,” one worker told RFE/RL.

Tajikistan is heavily in debt to China which has given dozens of soft loans to build roads, new government buildings and beautify Dushanbe and other cities.

Activists have said that Chinese companies’ attitude towards different workers has been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Most of the workers here are former migrants who can’t go to Russia because the border is closed,” said another person working on the site. Remittances from migrant workers typically make up around half of Tajikistan’s GDP.

ENDS

— This story was published in issue 475 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on March 15 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

ADB funds road-building in Tajikistan

DEC. 29 2020 (The Bulletin) — The Asian Development Bank agreed a $67m grant with Tajikistan to build two sections of road in Khatlon, a region south of Dushanbe. Media said that the roads currently carry 4,000 vehicles per day. Infrastructure improvement has been a major feature of development in Tajikistan, with China funding much of the work. 

— ENDS

— This story was first published in issue 467 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Trial begins of manslaughter over dam collapse

DEC. 25 2020 (The Bulletin) — Uzbekistan’s Supreme Court began the trial for manslaughter through negligence of eight men who built and designed a dam in the north of the country that burst in 2020, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, forcing 70,000 people to flee their homes and killing six people. The case is being closely watched in Uzbekistan. Officials said that they suspected that corruption was partly to blame for the failure of the dam, which was finished in 2017.

— ENDS

— This story was first published in issue 467 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Anaklia partners sue Georgian government

TBILISI/JULY 29 (The Bulletin) — The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC) and one of its key investors filed separate arbitration claims against the Georgia government for cancelling its deal to build the new Black Sea port. 

ADC and Bob Meijer, the investor, said that they are claiming a combined $1b for lost earnings linked to the project.

The Georgian government tore up the contract with the ADC in January because it said that ADC had failed to secure sufficient financial backing to build the new port, supposed to become Georgia’s principal entry and exit for goods being transported to and from China and Europe.

ADC, though, said that the contract was ripped up for political reasons. One of the main backers of the ADC project was, Mamuka Khazaradze, the founder of TBC Bank. TBC Bank is one of Georgia’s biggest high street banks and is listed on the London Stock Exchange but last year Mr Khazaradze was arrested for corruption, allegations he has said are politically motivated.

ADC said that this row between Mr Khazaradze and the Georgian government tarnished the project.

“The Government deliberately acted to ensure that ADC could not succeed with project development. In this instance the Government abused its power because the ruling party and its leader decided the project’s success was contrary to their own political and economic interests,” ADC said in a statement. 

The statement also said that the ADC was bringing its action through the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris and that Mr Meijer was pursuing his claim through the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington.

ENDS

— This story was published in issue 455 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on July 31 2020.

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

Berdy approves expansion of two Turkmen cement factories

JUNE 23 (The Bulletin) — Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov approved the expansion of two cement factories, suggesting that despite the impact of the spread of the coronavirus, Turkmenistan would continue to construct new buildings. The sites will be built by privately-owned companies but will be owned by the Turkmen state. 

ENDS

— This story was first published in issue 451 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, published on June 23 2020

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

Construction work in Tajikistan increased by 24% in 2019

FEB. 26 2020 (The Bulletin) — In 2019, constructors in Tajikistan built 24% more buildings than they did in 2018, Tajik media reported. Tajikistan, and especially Dushanbe, is going through something of a construction boom, fueled by cheap loans from China.

— ENDS

— This story was first published in issue 438 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

New Chinese cement factory opens in Uzbekistan

DEC. 28 2019 (The Bulletin) — Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev officially opened a new Chinese-built chemical production complex near Navoi in the centre of the country. Mr Mirziyoyev said that the plant had “changed Uzbekistan’s dependence on imports of PVC, caustic soda, and created a large number of new jobs”. It also further cements China’s influence, in business and politics, in Uzbekistan.

ENDS

— This story was first published in issue 433 of the weekly Bulletin on Jan. 13 2020

— Copyright owned by the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin