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EghtesadOnline: Roads and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami inaugurated a 50,000-ton container wharf on Negin Island in Bushehr Province.

The project was carried out by the Islamic Revolution Mostazafan Foundation with an investment of 900 billion rials ($7 million), Fars News Agency reported. 

Mostazafan Foundation (a foundation for the oppressed and war disabled established in 1979 as per the decree of the late Imam Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic) is the largest charity and a major conglomerate in Iran with stakes in a wide range of economic fields in the country.

President Hassan Rouhani broke ground on Phase I of Negin Port, as part of the Bushehr Port Development Project, four years ago, in January 2015, according to Financial Tribune.

“With a length of 300 meters [and a width of 30 meters], the new wharf has increased Bushehr Port’s container capacity by 50%, from 400,000 TEU to 600,000 TEU,” Eslami said. 

"It also resolves two big problems of locals in Bushehr, namely traffic congestion due to the movement of trucks in the city and the lack of hinterland needed to build manufacturing enterprises and service providers." 

Negin Island is a small sedimentary piece of land near the port city of Bushehr (capital of Bushehr Province). Authorities are planning to turn the island into a maritime hub through port construction. 

Linking Negin Island to Bushehr Port is expected to significantly increase commercial activities in the region.

The dredging of Negin Island's container berth started in April 2018. 

"The container loading and unloading capacity of Bushehr Port will increase to 600,000 TEUs upon the completion of Negin Island's port project, which is twice its current capacity, making it the country’s second biggest container port after Shahid Rajaee Port in Hormozgan Province," Mohammad Rastad, the head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, has been quoted as saying.



Qatari Interest

A delegation of high-ranking officials from Qatar Ports Management Company paid a visit to Iran’s southern ports in September last year and met their Iranian counterparts, taking a tour of Bushehr, Khorramshahr, Bandar Imam Khomeini and Shahid Rajaee ports.

Mohammad Al-Khanji, the director of Qatar Ports Management Company, told a press conference in Bushehr during the visit that Qatar plans to invest in the development of Iran's southern ports to help expand economic cooperation and increase bilateral trade.

“Qatar has long-term plans to increase trade ties with Iran and invest in its southern ports, which have an economic advantage for both countries … We firmly seek expansion of bilateral relations and nothing can change our strategic decision for expanding ties with Iran,” he said.

Currently, two southern ports of Bushehr and Bandar Lengeh account for the largest proportion of goods sent from Iran to Qatar. However, Qatari officials seek stronger ties with all of the Iranian southern ports.

Among all the southern ports of Iran, Negin Island Port in Bushehr offers the best opportunity for Qatari investors.

"About $56 million worth of non-oil goods were exported from the southern Bushehr Province to Qatar in the first half of the current Iranian year [March 21-Sept. 22]," Bushehr Governor-General Abdolkarim Geravand was quoted as saying by IRNA. 

Minerals, construction materials, seafood and agricultural produce were the main exports from Bushehr to the neighboring country, he added. 

Ports and Maritime Bureau of Bushehr Province has formed a special committee to work on challenges hindering trade expansion between Qatar and the Iranian province.

"As exporters to Qatar mainly encounter problems associated with marine transportation, the bureau has set up this committee, which will hold regular meetings to address these challenges," Ministry of Roads and Urban Development’s news outlet has quoted Nourollah Asadi, the caretaker of Ports and Maritime Bureau of Bushehr Province, as saying.



Latest on Trade via Bushehr

Latest data show a total of 18.44 million tons of non-oil commodities worth over $10.16 billion were exported from the southern Bushehr Province during the 11 months to Feb. 19, showing a 1% and 45% rise in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year.

Petrochemicals, fertilizers, cement, clinker, sulfur, excavation equipment, farmed shrimps, gypsum and tomatoes were the main exported products. 

China, the UAE, South Korea, India, Japan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Thailand and Taiwan were the main destinations. 

A total of 510,000 tons of products worth $1.5 billion were imported through Bushehr’s 14 customs bureaus, to register a 52% and 30% decline in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year.

The main imported goods were power plant equipment, bananas, animal-derived butter, industrial air-conditioners, auto and motorcycle parts, tires, tea, fittings and industrial equipment. 

These were mainly purchased from China, Russia, the Philippines, the UAE, New Zealand, India, Italy, Ecuador, South Korea and Belgium.


Negin Port Mohammad Eslami Container Wharf Inaugurated