LG, Hyundai sign Turkmen gas deal

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LG, Hyundai sign Turkmen gas deal

ASHGABAT - Korean industrial conglomerates LG International and Hyundai Engineering will build gas processing plants in Turkmenistan worth a combined $4 billion, Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on Friday.

“Turkmenistan sees a long-term partner in Korea. And today we concluded two large-scale agreements worth a total of $4 billion,” Berdymukhamedov told journalists after holding talks with his visiting Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye.

The contract to build two processing plants was signed by Turkmen state gas company Turkmengas, LG International Corp. and Hyundai Engineering Co. following the talks.

“For the first time in the history of our diplomatic relations, the president of Korea has visited Turkmenistan. We share the opinion with the president of Turkmenistan that we should increase the volume of our mutual trade and investments,” Park said.

Berdymukhamedov, who has sweeping powers in his Central Asian nation of 5.5 million, has in recent years overseen rapid economic growth exceeding 10 percent annually, largely on the back of rising natural gas exports to China via a pipeline launched in late 2009.

Turkmenistan holds the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves.

China has rapidly supplanted the Muslim nation’s former imperial master Russia as the main importer of its gas.

While alternative gas export routes exist mainly on paper, Berdymukhamedov has poured billions of dollars into projects aimed at processing the country’s hydrocarbon riches.

Under the contracts signed on Friday, the Korean firms would build a $2.5 billion gas-to-liquids plant with an annual capacity of 600,000 tons, and a $1.5 billion plant to produce 290,000 tons of polyvinyl chloride and 190,000 tons of hydrate of sodium a year, a Turkmen government official said.


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