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Turkey's Polimex wins $2 billion Turkmen airport contract

ALMATY (Reuters) - Turkish company Polimex Construction has won a contract worth over $2 billion to build a new airport near Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat, a Turkmen government official told Reuters on Saturday.

The official, who requested anonymity, gave no further details.

The construction of the airport should begin this month and be completed in August 2016, the official Neitralny Turkmenistan newspaper reported earlier. It will have a capacity to serve 1,600 passengers per hour.

Turkmenistan, a Central Asian nation of 5.5 million which holds the world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves, was one of the poorest of the 15 Soviet era republics.

But since gaining independence in 1991 the government has been pouring billions of dollars into ambitious construction projects across the desert country, helped by revenues from the oil and gas industry.

Polimex has already built a modern airport near the Caspian Sea port of Turkmenbashi in western Turkmenistan and completed a number of other projects in the nearby resort area of Avaza and in the capital Ashgabat.

(Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by Patrick Graham)

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