Situated on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea in the homony-mous gulf, Turkmenbashi, formerly Krasnovodsk, was founded in 1869 as a first outpost of Russian presence in Turkmenistan. With the construction of the Transcaspian railway line, connecting it to Ash-gabat since 1880, the city became, thanks to its port, the main com-mercial pole of the country for the exportation of cotton. In 1906 the opening of the railway line connecting Tashkent with Orenburg depri-ved it of a considerable part of its trade, causing for the city a period of relative decline. The situation started to improve in 1924 with the constitution of the Turkmen Soviet republic, but only with the end of World War II the city became the object of an intensive process of industrialization, that made Turkmenbashi one of major productive poles of the country. Food industries, metallurgical plants and ship-yards were opened, while an oil refinery was realized in the neigh-bourhood of the city. With the completion of the Nebit Dağ pipeline, Turkmenbashi became also an important oil terminal. After the pro-clamation of the independence of Turkmenistan, occurred in 1991, some considerable works of enlargement of the structures of the port have been started with the object of transforming Turkmenbashi into a modern port, adequate to the current requirements of the country.

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