Olya Port Zone is banking on a package of factors: implementation of two phases of container terminal construction project within 3-4 years, construction of a number of container ships by Lotos Shipyard, approval of a cargo base in India, and establishment of a joint automobile company in the Iran, quotes IAA PortNews correspondent Sergey Milushkin, director general of SEZ Lotos.
According to him, the port zone in the Olya seaport is under construction. The first phase, which envisages the construction of berths #8 and #9, is expected to be completed in 2024. “This will be the first professional container terminal in the Caspian Sea,” he says, adding that container shipments are now possible in Astrakhan ports. “which together with the port of Olya are ready to accept about 14 million tons.”
The second phase of the port zone includes the construction of a bay that can accommodate up to 20 ships. “With the completion of the second phase in 3-4 years, cargo throughput may reach about 20 million tons,” said the head of Lotos SEZ. According to him, these volumes will be shipped by a number of container ships under construction at the Astrakhan-based shipyard Lotos.
The second aspect of the project is the cargo base of Iran, India and APR countries. “Without this base, our port is not very interesting. That is why we have already signed agreements with Turkmenistan and Iran. In particular, our partner has signed agreements with the largest funds in Iran. These agreements already allow for the collection of goods, and a parking lot will be set up in the summer. Once we determine that our cargo base exceeds 500 containers per month, we can deploy vessels to operate in the Caspian Sea and Indian Ocean. For this purpose, we interact with the ports of Anzeli and Chabahar,” he explains.
A joint automobile company is established for transport through Iran. “The partner already guarantees about 100 trucks. In addition, it is planned to increase the fleet to 1-2 thousand units. An agreement will be signed with the Iranian side that will allow for the smooth transportation of about 10 million tons from Iran’s southern to northern ports,” he says, noting that the role of the railway in Iran’s logistics is being exaggerated. For example, of the 100 million tons handled annually at the port of Bandar Abbas, only 7 million tons are transported by rail and the rest by road. “A liter of gasoline costs about 5-10 rubles in Iran. Given the investment in railway infrastructure, the fares for these types of transport are unparalleled,” he says.