Turkmenistan Waterways Assessment
The main inland waterways are the Amu Darya River, which runs along the northern border, and the Garagum Canal, which runs from east to west from the Amu Darya near the Afghanistan border through Mary and Ashgabat to Turkmenbashi on the Caspian coast. The 1,400-kilometer canal, designed mainly for irrigation, is navigable for 450 kilometers from its Caspian terminus. Because water is withdrawn for irrigation, the Amu Darya is navigable only about 250 kilometers downstream from the Afghanistan border to Turkmenabat.
1873 is considered as the official beginning of the organized navigation on Amudarya. In 1890 the military dam was based on Amudarya. In 1917 20 self-propelled and 50 non-self-propelled vessels as well as 1500 boats were operated on Amudarya.
In 1923, the Central Asian Shipping Company was established in Turkmenabad. The shipping company rendered services to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and 10 areas of Kazakhstan. The shipping company vessels transported economic cargo at the distance 1.5-2 thousand kilometers by waterway.
The Turkmen River Shipping Company was established on 15th August 1992 by the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan and in 2003 it was reorganized in Production Association “Deryayollary”.
The main objectives of the Production Association “Deryayollary” are as follows: cargo and passenger transportation by river transport across Amudarya, maintenance of navigable ways, organization of work of landing stages and port points, cargo handling operations, shipbuilding and ship repair, civil-and-erection works, production of structures and materials, in particular, brick, extraction and sale of river sand as well as training of specialists for work on river transport.
The Production Association “Deryayollary” serves a navigable part of Amudarya of the length of 813 kilometers as well as Karakum canal of the length of 200 kilometers within the territory of Turkmenistan. The Association has universal and specialized vessels capable to transport various cargo and passengers. For transportation of national economic cargo as well as for carrying out passenger-and-freight automobile traffic through the Amudarya River the float pontoon crossings and barges are under operation.
The ship-repair - ship-building facility which has grown in the large enterprise from semihandicraft workshops has more than 100-year-old history. The facility is equipped with powerful slip economy, up-to-date equipment and required number of building berths.