0823 GMT February 22, 2020
“We have defined a target for construction of 200 cargo vessels as part of the development plan for maritime industries,” said Reza Rahmani, adding, “Some €300 million will be invested in this field,” Press TV reported.
Speaking to reporters in the southwestern port city of Bushehr, Rahmani said shipyards in the region and other coasts south and north of the country had been experiencing a boom in activity since last year when the US imposed sanctions on Iran.
“Our ships and vessels no longer sail abroad for repair and restoration,” said the minister, adding that shipyards in Iran had carried out more than 100 maintenance operations on vessels in various sizes since March 2019.
Rahmani said Iranian shipyards were technically capable of performing more than 80 percent of the repairs needed for ships being operated by government agencies, adding that the country is reaching a state of self-sufficiency in ship repairs and maintenance services.
He said some 60,000 new jobs will be created in Iran’s shipbuilding sector as a result of the government’s massive investment plan, adding that another 100,000 people will be indirectly employed on the industry’s supply chain.
Efforts to restructure Iran’s ailing shipbuilding industry come as the country seeks to keep its main ports active even at the time of increased economic pressure.
Last month, a large factory was opened near the capital Tehran to manufacture ship containers as authorities seek to replace more than 85,000 such containers that were withdrawn by foreign companies from Iranian ports after the US imposed sanctions last November.