In a bid to bolster its foreign trade and also elevate its transit status, Iran has some projects underway to develop its ports which are located in north and south of the country. Development of ports includes a wide range of projects from construction of docks to building railways to carry commodities from the ports. […]
In a bid to bolster its foreign trade and also elevate its transit status, Iran has some projects underway to develop its ports which are located in north and south of the country.
Development of ports includes a wide range of projects from construction of docks to building railways to carry commodities from the ports.
The scope of activities is large and private sector’s contribution and also investment are necessary which has prompted Port and Maritime Organization (PMO) to take some supportive measures to attract private sector’s participation.
Last month, PMO Head Mohammad Rastad said that through paying loans with proper interest rates, his organization seriously supports private sector investors in development of the country’s ports.
Also, in a press conference last week, the official expounded upon PMO’s plans for attraction of private sector investment to the ports and maritime projects, saying: “We are preparing our contract mechanisms and also our investment packages in a way to motivate domestic and foreign investors.”
“For example, the project of container terminal of Imam Khomeini Port (in southwestern Khuzestan Province) through private sector and foreign investment is now on the agenda; the call for contribution has been made and we hope that there will be a proper joint between domestic companies and foreign ones on boosting the container capacity of this port, given that its potentials have not been still used properly”, he explained.
“Also in Shahid Rajaee Port (in southern Hormozgan Province), we are trying to attract more private sector’s investment in operation contracts of terminals 1 and 2; some good negotiations have been fortunately conducted in this due with agreement between the two sides”, the official added.
As Rastad has announced, PMO will also reduce tariffs on maritime and port activities significantly in the current Iranian calendar year (began on March 21), with the aim of promoting status of ports and increasing the services. This act will surely stimulate private sector’s participation in the projects.
Highest private sector’s investment a policy of PMO
In an international conference on transportation and logistics, held in Tehran in last October, the PMO managing director said the ports infrastructures cannot be established just by the government and private sector’s contribution is required in this due.
Infrastructures such as breakwaters should be established by the government and the complementary equipment should be provided by the private sector, Rastad explained.
He said: “Our policy in PMO is the highest private sector’s investment in the ports. We just establish the infrastructures and hand over the completion of chain to the private sector”, the official noted.
He referred to phase 3 of developing Shahid Rajaee Port as an example of private sector’s contribution to complete supplying chain of the ports and said: “Some two million tons were added to the capacity of this port through cooperation with the private sector and we went more than this in Imam Khomeini Port and Bushehr Port (both in southwest of the country) where the private sector invested in construction of the docks.”
Amending contracts to facilitate private sector’s activity
Last December, private sector signed 13 memorandums of understanding with PMO to invest 100 trillion rials (about $2.38 billion) in the country’s northern and southern ports.
Based on the MOUs, the private sector will make investments in Shahid Rajaee, Imam Khomeini, Khorramshahr, Bushehr as well as Chabahar, Amirabad, Anzali and Noshahr ports.
The agreements oblige the related organizations and institutions to take necessary measures for facilitating the private sector’s investment in the country’s ports.
In a meeting with PMO directors a day after signing the MOUs, Rastad announced: “We want to amend the operation contracts of ports in a way to facilitate private sector activity and trade.”
And as PMO has put development of ports a top agenda of its activities in the current calendar year, supporting private sector and offering proper incentives to attract its contribution seems necessary to achieve this goal.