Azerbaijan Port Assessment
Sea and water cargo transportation have vital importance for Azerbaijan, especially in regions where road and rail connections are disputed. Azerbaijan has direct maritime connections only with other Caspian littoral states (Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan). However, the Volga-Don canal provides a maritime access to the high seas. The main activity is transport of cargo, mainly of oil and oil products. Shipping regions are Caspian, Black, Mediterranean and Marmara Seas. The main shipping company owes 72 ships, 37 of which are tankers (including 1 water-carrier).
Baku International Marine Trade Port is the largest port on the Caspian Sea. Its ferry terminal underwent a major reconstruction supported by a US$16.2 million loan from EBRD. It is now able to handle 30 million tons of freight a year. The Caspian Sea provides vital transport links with other countries and is being used to ship oil until various pipeline projects are completed.
Maritime transport and offshore pipelines
The Azerbaijan State Caspian Marine Company (KASPAR) is a major ship owning company in the Caspian Basin. It is a diversified transport organization whose main activity is the transportation of goods with a predominance of oil and oil products. Navigation areas: Caspian, Black, Mediterranean and Marmara Seas. Strategies and priorities for the development of the shipping aim at making better use of the Eurasian Transport Corridor. The main production base of the shipping company is a transport fleet consisting of 70 vessels, 30 of which are 34 tankers (water carriers), 26 universal cargo ships, and 2 roll on- roll-off and 8 marine rail cargo ferries, with a total deadweight of 316.0 thousand tons.
Today tanker capacity of Azerbaijan estimated 15-20 million tons of transported oil and oil products per year. The active development of ferry services on the lines of Baku-Turkmenbashi-Baku, Baku-Aktau-Baku is being planned.
In September of 2007, the Korean company GSEngineering & Construction presented to the Ministry of Transport of the final version of the construction project of a new seaport in Alat. Moving the seaport from the centre of Baku to Alat settlement should be realized by 2015. According to preliminary estimates, the construction of a new seaport would cost more than $ 400 million.
According to the project, the port will have 11 bridges- piers. The new port built to international standards, will be able to receive and process 11.6 million tons of cargo in 2015. In light of the emerging prospects it will be modern gate for access to the Great Silk Way.
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