News ID: 239657
Published: 0335 GMT March 02, 2019

Indian operator to invest over $500m in Chabahar

Indian operator to invest over $500m in Chabahar

The Indian operator (IGPL) of Iran's southeastern port of Chabahar is planning to invest $500 million over the next 10 years in the port, the representative of the Iranian partner of IGPL said.

Alireza Jahan said as Chabahar-Milak and Qazvin-Rasht railways are linked to Iran's national railway network, Chabahar port will have a bigger share in the Asian transportation market, reported Fars News Agency.

The IGPL was tasked with administering and running the terminal of the first phase of Beheshti harbor at Chabahar port in southeastern Iran.

The IGPL is also officially in charge of navigation in Chabahar port from January with an investment of $85 million. Furthermore, the Indian company is responsible for equipping the port.

In January, India's Shipping Ministry announced that the country has officially taken over the operations of strategic Chabahar port in Sistan-Baluchestan Province on Iran's southeastern coast, during the trilateral agreement meeting in the port on December 24.

"The Government of India took over the operations of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar, in Iran during the Chabahar Trilateral Agreement meeting held there on December 24, 2018," the Shipping Ministry said in a statement.

The heads of Indian, Iranian and Afghanistan delegation jointly inaugurated the office of the Indian special purpose vehicle (SPV) — India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ) at Chabahar.

"The physical take-over of the terminal area, cargo handling equipment and office building was completed by December 29, 2018," the statement added.

"This step marks the beginning of a long journey. India has written a history with its engagement in Chabahar and is now leading the regional cooperation and joint efforts to support land locked Afghanistan. This is the first time India will be operating a port outside its territories," the Indian government's statement said.

India started interacting with Iran on Chabahar port around 2003 but a major push was received in the second half of 2014, resulting in the signing of an MoU between the two countries.

The statement added that the challenges facing the contract between Iran and India were resolved through a formal short term contract between the two sides which was signed on May 6, 2018 during the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to New Delhi.

On December 24, representatives from Iran, India, and Afghanistan signed a nine-article memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Chabahar where they convened to hold the first follow-up committee on trilateral agreement of the city's oceanic port.

Deputy Head of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization Mohammad Ali Hassanzadeh recounted the news, adding that the next committee meeting will be held in India.

The committee aims to finalize the protocol to harmonize transit, roads, customs and consular matters for making the route attractive and decrease logistic costs.

Also on October 12, senior Iranian and Indian trade officials met in New Delhi to review ways to bolster bilateral relations, especially development of Chabahar port.

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