EghtesadOnline: The plan to purchase $403 million worth of facilities for Chabahar Port has made 37% progress, the managing director of Aria Banader Iranian Port and Marine Service Company said.
The Iranian firm signed a joint-venture deal with India Ports Global Pte. Ltd. during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran in May 2016 for the development of Chabahar.
“Aria Banader purchases all equipment needed for the development of Chabahar directly from original manufacturers and also enjoys the expertise of domestic industries to expand the port,” IRNA also quoted Ebrahim Yaseri as saying.
Noting that Germany sent the first cargo of equipment, including nine super cranes, to Chabahar in February, Yaseri announced that the second shipment was scheduled to arrive this week. The company’s public relations refused to confirm to Financial Tribune whether the delivery has been made or not yet.
“A total of $31 million worth of equipment will be delivered to Iran once the third shipment arrives by October. All our efforts are directed toward supplying Chabahar’s equipment through $403 million of investment earmarked by the National Development Fund of Iran up to the fiscal 2019-20,” Yaseri said.
India’s development of Chabahar will cost $85 million over the course of 18 months. Upon the completion of upgrade work agreed to in May 2016, Chabahar’s capacity will increase to 8 million tons from the current 2.5 million tons.
India’s investment is supplemented with a $150 million credit line to Iran through the Exim Bank of India. India has also offered to supply $400 million worth of steel for the construction of the railroad linking Chabahar and Zahedan.
On Monday, AP reported that Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani has asked India to expedite the development of Chabahar to bolster a trade route for landlocked Central Asian countries.
The strategic port would allow India to transport goods to Afghanistan by sea. Pakistan currently does not allow India to transport through its territory to Afghanistan.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday that India would speed up the port development and begin supplying wheat to Afghanistan within weeks.