The North-South international transport corridor development issues were on the agenda at the meeting between the co-chairs of the Russia-Iran Commission for trade and economic cooperation held in Teheran.
Speaking in the meeting Igor Babushkin, Governor of Astrakhan Region, told that more than 90% of the entire freight handled in the Astrakhan ports and terminals is either designated for or originating from Iran. Also, rail freight for Iran is routed via Astrakhan.
According to Babushkin, the Astrakhan terminals have a capacity to handle up to 16 mn tons of cargo annually. Further increasing in traffic is hindered by the draft in the Volga-Caspian shipping canal. By the end of 2023, the canal is to be dredged to provide a depth of 4.5 meters, which will allow of expanding vessel traffic/
Babushkin also said that the Russian Government is considering establishing a single operator of the TransCasapian section of the North-South transport corridor.
He told about a state of the art transport and logistics hub to be built near the port of Olya, which will focus on serving the North-South corridor trade flows originating from Russia. By 2024, the annual containerized freight traffic is to grow by 8 mn tons, Babushkin added.
The Governor invited Iranian companies to develop infrastructure projects and open new production facilities in the Astrakhan port free economic zone.