The project to expand the Caspian seaport of Aktau in the West of Kazakhstan is to be completed in 2014, Tengrinews reports, citing Kazakhstan Temir Zholy National Railways Operator President Mr. Askar Mamin.
The port is being expanded as part of the international transCaspian corridor. In 2013 the contractors started dredging works and completed the feasibility study to construct three dry cargo terminals, with 2 versatile terminals capable of 1.5 million tons a year each, and the third – grain loading - terminal being capable of handling 1 million tons.
In 2013 Kazakhstan launched a dry cargo maritime company and purchased two dry cargo vessels with deadweight of 5000 tons each. The vessels are intended to secure Kazakhstan’s self-reliance in terms of dry cargo shipments.
To the end of the current year the vessels have been booked to ship metals and grain towards Iran. Plans are afoot to bring the number of vessels in the Kazakhstan’s dry cargo fleet up to 20. Before December 2013 Kazakhstan had no dry cargo vessels of its own and relied on foreign vessels.
According to Mr. Mamin, freights reloaded at Aktau port in 2013 totaled 10 million tons, 300 000 tons over the estimated target. With the three new terminals completed in 2014, the capabilities of the port will be raised from the current 16.5 million tons to 19 million tons.