In an interview with Mehrnews, PMO Head Mohammad Rastad informed that the 1st consignment of the Indian equipment for the development of Chabahar Port will arrive in Iran by March 2021.
Being asked about the strategic significance of Chabahr Port and its expected future, Port and Maritime Organization (PMO) Head Mohammad Rastad said: “Considering its geographical location, Chabahar Port can play a significant role in improving and promoting the transit volume of Iran.”
“The port can act as a bridge between the regional countries,” he said, “The coastal countries of the Indian Ocean, in particular, India, the Central Asian countries, and Afghanistan can take advantage of Chabahar Port as an interface ring for imports and exports of their products.”
“The flow of trade via Chabahar port has commenced and as we witness, exports of products from India to Afghanistan and central Asian countries and vice versa are being formed,” he added.
Answering a question about Iran’s cooperation with foreign parties in the construction and development of the port, Rastad said: “Iran, India, and Afghanistan inked a trilateral agreement, known as the Chabahar Agreement, which is aimed at increasing the transit level at the port and using its capacities and potentials.”
“I can say that as of getting the required infrastructure prepared in Chabahar Port major, major improvements have been achieved and we can expect the ocean port to play a key role in the maritime transportation of Iran and the region in the near future,” he noted.
He continued: “In the first steps of construction and development of Chabahar Port, we initially penned a contract with an Indian operator, and the operator is continuing its cooperation with Iran under a temporary contract and we are getting prepared to pen a 10-year Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract with the Indian side, with $85 million of Indian investment in supplying port equipment.”
He added that: “As planned, the first consignment of the Indian equipment for the development of Chabahar Port will arrive before the current Iranian yearend (March 20, 2021).”
“Various negotiations have been conducted with foreign partners to attract investments into Chabahar Port and Iran expects further foreign investments considering the attractions of Chabahar port in the near future,” he informed.
It is worth noting that the strategic port of Chabahar has provided a golden opportunity for the Iranian private sector to invest and participate in its development.
As the Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Department’s Director-General Behrouz Aghaei told Mehr news in a telephone interview, “presently, the Iranian private sector is running 14 maritime and port projects by 14.93 trillion rials (above $53million) of investments in Chabahar Port.”
According to the official, “due to the expected increase the port traffic, warehouses are under construction to enhance the storage capacity of goods, speed up unloading and loading of cargoes and improve standard maintenance of them.”
According to Aghaei, “Inbound transit to Chabahar ports is more than 3,000 TEU, while outbound transit from Shahid Beheshti port of Chabahar is above 600 TEU.”
“The main transit destinations are Indian ports of Mundra and Nhava Sheva, and the Chinese port of Tianjin,” he said
As the Iranian official added transited goods include grapes, raisins, figs, dried and semi-dried apricots, herbals, various types of almonds, dried cherries, talc stone, legumes, bins, and fleece.
Below are the graphs illustrating the recent transit routes, volume, and goods in Chabahar Port provided by Sistan-Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Department: