EghtesadOnline: A new commercial port will be set up in Kouh-Mobarak, the central district of Jask County of Hormozgan Province, says the managing director of Ports and Maritime Organization.
Mohammad Rastad added that the new port will have the capacity to serve oceangoing vessels along Makran Coast.
“The port will be constructed in three phases with a capacity of between 100 and 200 million tons. Compared with existing ports, it will become the country’s largest commercial port in terms of capacity,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“PMO will not launch the execution phase of the project sooner than the fiscal 2025-26, but will get down to studies regarding the design and construction procedures until then.”
The strategic Makran region has attracted the attention of many Iranian decision-makers and military officials, particularly after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei stressed the need for the region’s development.
In 2014, in a meeting with high-ranking Navy commanders, Ayatollah Khamenei said the issue of Makran Coast’s development is a major task and plans for that region should be carried out more rapidly.
Ayatollah Khamenei has called the region an “undiscovered treasure”. In 2008, he said Iran focused all its attention on the Persian Gulf and ignored “our enormous wealth in the Sea of Oman”.
This body of water, he stressed, is “the backbone of the Persian Gulf and determines its fate”.
Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip stretched along southeastern Iran to Pakistan’s Balochistan and borders the coasts of Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.
The Iranian part of Makran Coast, bordering two southern provinces of Hormozgan and Sistan-Baluchestan, has been earmarked as a prime location for development, as its location makes it ideal for becoming a commercial hub in southern Iran.
The region has high potential for sea trade. It can provide Iran with access to the Indian Ocean, acting as an outlet for landlocked countries in South and Central Asia. It can also be an alternative route to deliver goods to Iran bypassing the Strait of Hormuz.
The Special Plan for Development of Makran Region includes three long-term plans ending 2020, 2030 and 2040.
The government has come up with a strategic plan for the development of Makran Coast, setting guidelines to achieve sustainable development of the region and benefit its indigenous people while lowering social and environmental damage, as the area boasts a wide range of investment opportunities.
It estimates that development projects planned by different bodies, such as the ministries of agriculture, industries and roads, will increase the population of the region to one million by the end of 2020, by creating new jobs and making the region more habitable.
The plan assures fair distribution of businesses and population to prevent centralization.
It also aims to create “endogenous development” as opposed to “exogenous development”.
“This new port will be Iran's second oceanic port after Chabahar in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan and will accommodate large vessels,” Rastad was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency earlier.
The official stressed that the organization is mostly focused on constructing a container port for handling the region’s required throughput without diminishing the share of other ports like Chabahar or Shahid Rajaee. Yet, the facility could, at the same time, be designed to handle wholesale cargos and essential goods as well.
“We want the port to have easy and quick access to different transportation modes. With proper access to rail and road routes, the envisaged port could turn into the region’s transit and transshipment hub,” Rastad said, noting that the construction of this new port will take around five years.