Azerbaijan eyes to increase capacity of cargo terminal in Iran’s Astara
The capacity of cargo terminal in Iran’s Astara city, which the Azerbaijani side leased for 25 years, is planned to be increased to five million tons per year, said Elkhan Asadov, head of the tariff department of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, Trend reports March 5.
He was speaking at the seventh meeting of the Coordinating Council of the North-South International Transport Corridor in Iran.
He said that the terminal has capacity of two million tons per year. In addition to the 35-hectare cargo terminal, the Azerbaijani side leased a 1.4-kilometer-long railway running from the border of the two countries to the terminal, he noted.
‘The Azerbaijani side continues to initiate and actively participate in a number of projects to develop the region’s logistics potential,’ said Asadov. ‘Over the past years, a common cargo terminal, a container yard and terminal roads with length of 1,800 meters were built. The first test cargo train was launched Feb. 9 along the Astara (Azerbaijan) -Astara (Iran) railway and the wagon unloading process was carried out at the terminal. In general, the terminal complex in Astara consists of four terminals: common cargo terminal, container terminal, grain terminal and oil terminal.’
Asadov stressed that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the development of the North-South International Transport Corridor, the creation of direct international railway communication and ensuring uninterrupted and safe transportation of goods, by directly connecting the railway networks of Europe with the countries of the Persian Gulf and India.
Asadov noted that after the construction of the section of the road from Astara station to Rasht station is completed, the Nordic countries, Scandinavian countries, Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran will be united into a single network within the North-South project.
‘A single railway will be formed in the direction of the North to the Persian Gulf and back,’ he said. ‘At the same time, it will be easy to transport cargo by Iranian railways from the port of Bandar Abbas to the countries of Europe and the Black Sea through Azerbaijan and in the opposite direction.’
The North-South corridor is designed for the transportation of goods from India and the Gulf countries to Russia, Western Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Cargo transportation by sea through the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean Sea to Helsinki is carried out within 45-60 days, while the North-South corridor decreases the delivery time to 20-25 days.