Over 222,000 TEUs of commodities exported from Shahid Rajaee port in H1

October 13, 2021 - 11:6

TEHRAN- As announced by a provincial official, 222,753 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of commodities have been exported from Shahid Rajaee port, in the south of Iran, during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-September 22).

Alireza Mohammadi Karaji-Ran, the head of Ports and Maritime Department of Hormozgan province, where the port is located, said the export indicates 18-percent growth as compared to the same period of time in the past year.

The official further announced that 208,735 TEUs of commodities were imported to the port in the first half of the present year, showing three-percent fall.

Transit of goods via the port also rose 85 percent in the said time span to stand at 141,000 TEUs, he underlined.

In the first six months of this year, 824 container ships traveled to Shahid Rajaee port, which is an increase of 2.4 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the head of Ports and Maritime Department of Hormozgan province.

Enjoying the most modern container terminals and port equipment, Shahid Rajaee accounts for 85 percent of the total loading and unloading at the Iranian ports.

Given its significant role in the country’s import and export of products as well as transit and transshipment via Iran, the development of Shahid Rajaee Port has been among the most important development projects in the country.

In late December last year, Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) signed six memorandums of understanding (MOU) with domestic companies for investing 100 trillion rials (about $2.38 billion) plus €800 million in development projects of Shahid Rajaee port’s hinterland.

The signing ceremony was attended by the former Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami, and the PMO Head Mohammad Rastad.

The mentioned investments will be made in a variety of projects including zinc, lead, manganese, and copper factories, the construction, and development of industrial components and parts production units, development and integration of the existing industrial units in the area, construction of an alumina refinery, as well as the construction of container manufacturing units.

Implementation and construction of production units in Shahid Rajaee Port will make this port a center for value-added production and a logistics center, which will upgrade the port's level to the third generation and significantly reduce transportation and storage costs.

Back in August 2019, PMO’s Director of Engineering and Infrastructure Development Mohammadreza Allahyar had said that the port’s capacity is planned to rise 2.1 million TEUs to reach 8 million TEUs.

While Iran is combating the U.S. unilateral sanctions on its economy, the country’s ports as the major gates of exports and imports play some significant role in this battle. This role makes all-out support to ports and more development of them serious and vital.

Such necessity has led the government to define projects for more development of the ports and also take some measures to encourage investment making in ports, in addition, to facilitate loading and unloading of goods, especially basic commodities, there.

It is worth mentioning that PMO has defined a high number of projects to develop and improve the country’s ports, as the country aims to double the capacity of its ports in a course of five years.

Meanwhile, as Farhad Montaser Kouhsari, the deputy head of PMO for Ports and Economic Affairs, announced last month, the PMO plans to modify the financial framework of its operatory contracts.

Given that the framework of PMO contracts has been drafted in the past, there is a need to quickly review and update existing contracts to address the recent challenges posed by sanctions and rising exchange rates, the official said.

“The private sector has been investing in ports in the face of sanctions and the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic, and it is therefore necessary to pay serious attention to their problems and issues,” he added.

He emphasized that one of the programs of the Ports and Maritime Organization is to change and upgrade the existing contracts of the current port operators at Shahid Rajaee port from short-term management contracts to long-term investment and BOT contracts that would be proportional to the amount of investment.

"If the contract is short-term, port operators will not have a proper security margin," he said.

According to the official, the operators of the mentioned port have contracts that expire in the Iranian calendar year 1402 (begins in March 2023) and PMO expects them to renew their contracts.

“By modifying and reviewing port contracts and optimal management of them, monitoring the implementation of investment companies’ obligations, especially in providing non-strategic equipment and supplying equipment shortages in ports will be eliminated,” Kouhsari said.

MA/MA

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