Iran determined to boost port capacities amid Eurasian coop.

TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (MNA) – Iran is boosting its ports both in the south and north of the county to improve trade with other countries and enhance its share in international corridors. 

In a ceremony on Tuesday, a host of officials inaugurated several projects in the northern port of Anzali on the shores of the Caspian Sea. 

The inauguration comes within weeks after the opening of some other projects in the strategic southern ports of Chabahar, the only oceanic port of the country. 

Road Minister Mohammad Eslami, and head of Port and Maritime Organization Mohammad Rastad, among several other officials, inaugurated projects in the touristic port of Anzali on Tuesday. 

Road Minister Eslami inaugurating grain depots in Anzali Port

The projects included a berth for general cargo and grain, two dolphin-structured berths for oil cargos, a grain depot with a capacity of 50,000 tons, a general cargo warehouse with an area of 4,509 square meters, and the facade of gate number three the Port, installing the required equipment for controlling the ingoing and outgoing traffic, overhaul of berths No. 4 to 10, and pavement and strengthening of the western wave breaker. 

Also, the ground was broken for a grain depot with a capacity of 30,000 tons and tanks for depositing edible oil with 20,000 tons of capacity. Finally, a dredging operation started in a new section of the port to remove more than 1,250,000 million cubic meters of material.

On the sideline of the event, Road Minister Mohammad Eslami told reporters that the capacity of trade using containers has increased with a container ship that will 'regularly' transfer cargo between ports across the Caspian Sea. 

He also said that the ship will increase its capacity for reefer containers that eventually boost the trade capacity of the country. Eslami said that the projects that came on stream today are valued at 2,000 billion rials (nearly $8 million). 

Road Minister Eslami speaking to reporters on the sideline of Tuesday's ceremony in Anzali Port

According to the Minister, Anzali Port loading and unloading operations have increased by 53% in the first eight months of this year (March 20 - November 20), as compared to the same period last year. 

"Our ports in the north of the country have a great share in the Eurasian region both in the transit and hybrid sectors; these ports will act as the intersection of North-South and East-West corridors," said Eslami. 

He also said that each Iranian port in the Caspian Sea has its own mechanisms and customers and there is a need for more competition between them to attract investment. 

Meanwhile, the head of PMO Mohammad Rastad pointed to the great capacities of Iranian ports when speaking to reporters on the sideline of the event on Tuesday. 

Head of PMO Mohammad Rastad speaking to reporters on the sideline of a conference dubbed 'Eurasian Economic Union and geopolitical role of free zones in development of regional relations' in Anzali on Nov. 17, 2020 

"Iranian commercial ports are situated in a suitable geographical position and can attract a great share of regional transit," Rastad said, noting that currently, ports in the north of the country enjoy the capacity of trading some 30 million tons annually.

He noted that with the completion of development projects in the ports, Iran expects to improve its share in the transit of goods in the region. 

"According to the determined goals, Iranian commercial ports' capacities now stand at 246 million tons on annual basis and this capacity will be enhanced to 260 million till the end of this year (March 2021)," he said, adding that the country is planning to increase this potential to 285 million tons by the end of the next year (March 2022). 

Western wave breaker of Anzali, inaugurated on Nov. 17, will both safeguard the port and host people as a tourist destination

Reporting and photos by Mohammad Ali Haqshenas

News Code 166049

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