EghtesadOnline: Russia is planning to build a port on the Caspian Sea near the city of Lagan to increase trade in the region and beyond.
Plans to build the port have been included in the official Russian Federation blueprint for the region issued on July 29, Global Construction Review reported.
It will combine a container terminal with facilities for storing and loading agricultural products, including a grain terminal with a storage capacity of 300,000 tons. Other terminals will handle vegetables, fruit and cooking oil.
Vitaly Daginov, general director of Lagan Port, said during a press conference in March that the expected cost of the port, together with its road and rail links, was $1.6 billion.
The grain and container terminals will each have a 5-million-ton capacity and the liquid cargo terminal will have a capacity of 500,000 tons.
Altogether, the port will have a transshipment capacity of 12.5 million tons. At present, all Russian ports on the Caspian have a capacity of 7.5 million tons.
Dredging will also be carried out to deepen the port’s seaway to 13 meters.
Much of the cargo carried via Caspian Sea is not containerized, so its adoption is seen as a way of increasing Russia’s trade with the Persian Gulf countries and India, via Iran. In the reverse direction, the port may improve communications for Chinese goods bound for Europe.
The port will be built in the relatively underdeveloped Buddhist Republic of Kalmykia that has long lobbied for Russian investment in a seaport. Moscow is now more responsive, owing in part to the silting up of its main Caspian port at Astrakhan, which recently forced the Russian Navy to abandon it as a base.
The Kremlin is also considering the possibility of building a shipping canal between the Caspian and the Sea of Azov, on the north of the Black Sea to provide a shorter route than the existing Volga–Don Canal.
A group of Iranian companies have expressed interest in investing in Lagan Port, as well as China’s Poly Group, which specializes in the sale of artworks and defense systems, and China Energy Engineering Group International.