Aktau Port extension project could be completed this year

portAktau Port (Kazakhstan) is the main transport destination on the Europe-Asia axis providing efficient connections between the two continents, with two important corridors – TRACECA and the North-South corridors. Also, for Aktau Port, the Silk Wind project will increase freight volumes, especially since the first high-speed train (included in the project) will be launched in the summer of 2014. Silk Wind includes a container transport on the route China-Kazakhstan-Caspian Region-Caucasus-Turkey-Europe and, according to the system proposed by Kazakhstan, the Chinese containers will be delivered by rail to Aktau and then by ferry to Baku and then by rail to the Georgian ports. From here on, the containers will be delivered by ferry to the Turkish and Ukrainian ports. In this final case, Silk Wind is combined with the Lithuanian-Ukrainian transport corridor Viking.

Built in 1963, the Port of Aktau (the Caspian Sea) is the only maritime gate to the international routes of dry goods, crude oil and oil products from Kazakhstan. Acknowledging the importance of the port has determined the authorities to develop the port’s infrastructure.
For this project, Kazakhstan Railways and DP World company have signed a cooperation agreement on project management, agreement that will help develop the transport and logistics system in Kazakhstan and the extension of the transit capacity. DP World presented its vision on the development and administration of Aktau project.
According to the local media, quoting KTZ President Askar Mamin, the port extension project could be completed this year. Under the initial project, access to railway infrastructure to the port was limited regarding the capacity on the final line section (between Sai Utes and Mangyshlak). The development of improvement works on this section will increase transport vo-lumes of non-oil products. KTZ should double the line to reach this objective.
The port is extended as part of the Trans-Caspian Corridor. In 2013, dredging works were initiated and the feasibility studies on the construction of two dry terminals with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes/year and another terminal for grains with a capacity of 1 million tonnes were finalized. According to plans, the port capacity is expected to increase to 18 million tonnes of goods by 2020.
At the end of 2013, Kairat Karmanov, Vice President of Kaznex Invest (Agency for the Promotion of Kazakh Exports and Investments) declared for the press that the Port of Aktau could be transferred to foreign management. “A Spanish company has expressed interest in taking over the management of the port. Kazakhstan hosts a Spanish delegation to study the opportunities. Turkish companies are also interested. Foreign companies are not willing only to operate available facilities, but also to invest”, said Karmanov.

[ by Pamela Luică ]
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