Commercial ports’ capacity should double to 600m tons: PMO head

March 9, 2021 - 12:33

TEHRAN- Head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) said that the country’s commercial ports’ capacity should be increased to 600 million tons.

Emphasizing that Iran’s commercial ports’ capacity should be doubled, Mohammad Rastad said the current 300 million tons of capacity should become 600 million tons.

He pointed out that commercial ports act as an important infrastructure for development and centers of employment, added value and income, adding the Ports and Maritime Organization should be able to take a fundamental and strategic step to achieve the set goals by creating and developing commercial ports on the Makran coast.

“According to the past experiences in the development of Chabahar port, one of the key areas that can lead the country to economic prosperity along the Makran coasts is to create and increase the capacity of commercial ports along these coasts”, the official further reiterated.

In late January, Rastad announced the plans for the construction of the country’s largest commercial port in Jask Island, southern Hormozgan Province.

The official made the announcement during a visit to the mentioned port city.

“The development of Jask is very important and strategic at the national level, and we have reached a conclusion in the recognition phase to build the country’s largest commercial port in this city,” Rastad said.

According to the official, PMO has determined the final location of the mentioned port in collaboration with the Oil Ministry and the primary research studies on the project have been already started.

Noting that transportation and maritime trade in the east of the Strait of Hormuz is being considered for the first time by the Iranian government, the official said: “Through this port, we intend to be able to receive large-scale oceanic vessels in the east of the Strait of Hormuz, in addition to Chabahar port."

The port of Jask is a small port on the western part of Iran's coast along the Gulf of Oman. However, over the last few years, it has seen a steady growth of its export freight flows to Oman, mostly agricultural products, including refrigerated, and construction materials.

Major developments for the port of Jask have been announced by Iranian authorities since early 2019, i.e. the construction of a new oil terminal, the construction of a refinery, and of a petrochemical plant.

Meanwhile, as announced last month by the head of Ports and Maritime Organization, the capacity of Iranian ports is expected to increase to 280 million tons by the end of the current government's incumbency (early August).

Rastad put the current loading and unloading capacity of the country’s ports at 250 million tons.

“We have signed 300 contracts with the private sector for conducting development projects including the construction of structures, equipment, and even infrastructure in ports,” Rastad said.

According to the official the private sector has currently invested over 160 trillion rials (about $3.8 billion) in the country’s ports.

Mentioning the restrictions created by the U.S. sanctions in the country’s ports and maritime activities, the official said: “In all areas which were affected by the U.S. sanctions we tried to rely on domestic capacities and managed to keep the ports active and the country’s imports and exports afloat.”

The capacity, infrastructure, and equipment of the ports have made it possible for them to be able to load and unload goods in accordance with international standards, he stressed.

“For all kinds of goods and all types of vessels, including light to heavy goods and also super-sized commodities and vessels, there are berths and special terminals in the country that can provide the necessary services,” Rastad added.

The official put the total length of the Iranian port wharves at 39 kilometers, saying that this has made it possible for different types of ships and vessels to be able to dock and load or unload their cargoes.

“Today, we have no problems regarding the loading and unloading of basic goods, bulk goods, and containers in the country’s ports, and the commodity owners are not obliged to pay demurrage charges (damages for delayed unloading and loading) to ships because of port operations, and this shows how standard the Iranian ports are,” the PMO head added.