July 31 - UTC Overseas has opened up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where its new office will be managed by Elnur Mammadov who has served as UTC's Azerbaijan-region field representative since July 2010.

Over the past decade, Mammadov has provided on-site project management services for shipments in power generation and distribution - including wind farms - and oil and gas production and refining.

"The Azerbaijani economy is strong," Mammadov notes, "with major investments underway in oil and gas - including construction of a new gas pipeline from Azerbaijan to Europeset to go online in 2016. Regional projects are being developed for power generation, construction, and agriculture. Additional regional plans include major infrastructure construction, cement plants, highways, and mining. Our location between Europe and Asia makes us an important transit route for cargoes moving to and through neighbouring countries as well.

"Many of these projects are located in areas with limited infrastructure, which increases the transport logistics challenges. However we have two assets for water deliveries of heavy and over-sized shipments. The first is the Volga-Don River channel with 13 locks providing sea/river vessel access between the Caspian and the open ocean from April to October of each year. The second is a new multipurpose international seaport, about 70 km south of Baku on the Caspian, which will provide year-round service for ro-ro, project, containerised, and bulk petroleum cargoes moving along the East/West transit corridor. This facility, which will have links to major rail routes throughout the CIS, will open in phases between 2014 and 2017, and will be the most advanced port in the region."

"UTC Overseas' wide-ranging global experience is particularly vital in this region because few local firms have the skills, experience and resources these specialised shipments demand. It is a natural process for UTC Overseas to open this new company office serving Azerbaijan as well as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan."

The addition of the Azerbaijani office continues the expansion of UTC Overseas Project Division's global office network. In 2009, the company named István Csépán, as its Hungarian country manager with additional sales and development responsibilities for countries including the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Serbia and Poland.

"The addition of the Baku office further extends our eastern Europe and Balkan coverage," Csépán observed. "It also provides our existing offices additional on-site resources and local expertise in these regions to better coordinate services for our customers worldwide."