The Iranian government is busy reviewing plans for expanding its port at Amirabad, on the country's northern coast, in order to facilitate more rapid transportation of cargo between Europe, Russia and Iran.
The impetus to boost the development of the Amirabad facility was largely instigated as a result of the limited facilities and the dilapidated state of the older northern ports of Anzali and Noshuhr, coupled with the rising trading potential of countries such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
In order to provide adequate facilities for Amirabad's eventual shipping capacity of 15 million tons annually, Iran's Ports and Shipping Organization (PSO) has steadily been acquiring real estate around the city. Having already acquired roughly 1,000 hectares of surrounding land, the organization plans to provide suitable conditions for the establishment of necessary facilities at the port by attracting foreign and domestic private investment. The PSO recently announced that a special economic zone would be established in the area.
Amirabad was initially established in 1987 as a fishing port with a number of pools and quays, and a commercial section was later. The preliminary phase of the port's expansion project will be completed by September 2001 and will provide the capacity to handle 2 million tons of cargo annually. This will assist in the transfer of Central Asian fuel products to northern Iran and then to southern ports through the country's railway network.
Amirabad will also facilitate cargo transport between Europe, Russia and Iranian ports. According to optimistic estimates, 4 million tons of goods will be traded between Iran, Russia and the CIS states. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )