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EBRD Offers Turkmenistan Help With Burning Darvaza Gas Crater Issue

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09 March 2022

The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso, in his letter to Turkmen President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, expressed on behalf of the EBRD the support for the progress made by Turkmenistan in improving the national legal framework through the adoption of the National Climate Change Strategy, the National Strategy for the Development of Renewable Energy Sources until 2030 and the new Law of Turkmenistan on Renewable Energy Sources.

“We are also following with great interest the recent decision of the Government of Turkmenistan to pay attention to the issue of the burning gas crater in Darvaza. As you know, the EBRD Country Strategy for Turkmenistan for 2019-2024 gives priority to investments aimed at reducing water and soil pollution, resource degradation, air pollution and the use of harmful chemicals that affect the environment and human health,” Odile Renaud-Basso said in the letter, which was also published by the Turkmen official media on Monday.

The EBRD Head expressed the bank's interest in supporting Turkmenistan in exploring possible technical and economic options for stopping the flaring of associated gas, and also said that the EBRD would explore the possibility of mobilizing donor funds to organize and prepare a feasibility study to help the Turkmen Government identify all suitable options for reducing harmful CO2 and methane emissions from the Darvaza crater.

Odile Renaud-Basso stated the EBRD, in cooperation with Turkmen colleagues, could prepare the relevant terms of reference, select and conclude a contract with qualified consultants, as well as establish a working group with relevant ministries and departments of Turkmenistan to ensure that all available knowledge and experience are fully used in the development of the study.

Since the beginning of the EBRD's operations in the country, the bank has signed 80 projects with a total aggregate volume of banking investments of €292 million.