The annual capacity of Iranian ports will increase to 200 million tons by the end of the Fifth Development Plan (2010-2015).
Announcing the above, the managing director of Iran’s Port and Maritime Organization Ataollah Sadr said that the current capacity of the country’s ports is about 150 million tons per year, IRIB reported.
More than 40 multipurpose small ports have been established in the southern parts of the country since last year, Sadr said, adding that some 300 small ports will be launched in the future.
The capacity of container loading and unloading in the country’s ports is currently at 4.4 million which will increase to 7 million by the end of 2015, said the official.
According to the report, some 91 million tons of non-oil commodities were loaded and unloaded in the first eight months of the current Iranian year (started March 21) showing a 15-percent growth against last year.
The US unilateral sanctions have not affected the section in satisfying the country’s requirements, he added.
During the past year, more than 440 million containers have been shipped worldwide, of which Iran’s share was just 0.5 percent, said the official adding that given the potentials and infrastructures it should increase to at least 1 percent.
Ports capacity is an estimated capacity of a port or an anchorage to clear cargo in terms of measurement or weight, usually expressed in tons, that may be transported inland from a beach or port over the available means of inland communication, including roads, railroads, and inland waterways. The estimate is based on an evaluation of the physical characteristics of the transportation facilities in the area.
Shahid Rajaei Port
Shahid Rajaei Port is planned to become a regional hub in the Persian Gulf region. The port is located in a semi-closed sea and its only access route is through the Strait of Hormuz.
Almost all regional countries rely on this strait for imports and exports of goods and exports of oil. Every year, about 10,000 commercial ships pass through the strait which by itself hints at the prominence of the region.
Given its 2,440 kilometers of sea borders in the region and the important Shahid Rajaei Port, Iran has a special position in the region.
At present, some 60 percent of operations for displacing goods of the country take place at Shahid Rajaei Port. This is while the port’s share in container operations of the region is eight percent.
Of course, plans for expanding the port into a hub port in the region still continue. Among such plans are the approvals made during the visit of first vice president, Mohammad Reza Rahimi and Minister of Road and Transportation Hamid Behbahani along with the accompanying delegation to Bandar Abbas in March.
The important approvals include building and equipping loading and unloading rail station in the port with an operation output of six million tons of oil shipment per year maximum by end of 2011-2012 as well as building, completing and equipping rail and loading station with an annual operation output of 350,000 tons by the end of October 2011.
Experts maintain that given the rapid changes in maritime transportation and the intense rivalry among ports of the region for becoming regional hub, systematic plans should be made in order to transform Shahid Rajaei Port into a regional hub.
According to the officials, factors such as geographical position, sociopolitical and economic stability, existence of jetties and warehouses and a suitable and flexible tariff system can play an effective role in transforming a port into a regional hub.
Shahid Rajaei’s location in the Persian Gulf makes it ideal to become a regional hub. By facilitating the needed infrastructures and other means and facilities as well as rendering suitable and sustainable services we can attract the regional sources of income into the port.
It is obvious that an efficient transportation modus operandi can help provide many incentives for producers of goods and exporters and bring about economic development.
Therefore, improving the transportation system and establishing suitable and constant bonds with international transportation companies can eventually help reduce final prices of goods, generate new job opportunities and ensure all-out advancement of the country.
Shahid Rajaei Port Complex covers an area of 2,200 hectares and it has three ponds with a depth of up to 17 meters. Ships with a draught of more than 14 meters can anchor in this port.
$1.5b for South Pars Development
The government allocated some $1.5 billion for the development of phases 9 and 10 of South Pars gas filed.
Under a recent ratification by the government the investment in the two phases will reach $4.149 billion from the current $2.597 billion, IRIB reported.
Earlier, a senior Iranian oil official said that Iran plans to invest around $13 billion to develop the remaining phases of the giant South Pars gas field.
“Some $13 billion would be invested in (the South Pars gas) field’s projects by issuing bonds and using other resources in the current year,” Head of Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) Ali Vakili said.
He further pointed out that the Iranian Oil Ministry would also use oil revenues and foreign investments to finance the gas field, jointly owned by Iran and Qatar.
The Iranian share of the field has reserves of about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, which accounts for about eight percent of the total world gas reserves.
Vakili went on to say that the ministry has received the required permit from the Central Bank of Iran to issue bonds worth €3 billion and Iranian rial-dominated bonds worth around $3 billion to finance the project.
In August 2010, Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mikazemi said that full development of the South Pars gas field would result in a major boost in Iran’s gas production capacity.
When all phases of the South Pars field become operational, the annual revenue of the field will soar to $100 billion, raising Iran’s gas output to 1.1 billion cubic meters per day, the minister said.
Underlining the need for attracting foreign investment in the oil industry, the minister said that the oil ministry’s resources alone cannot meet the country’s developmental needs and Iranian and foreign companies can finance energy projects or help acquire the required sources for the oil industry’s undertakings.
In June, the four largest Iranian oil and gas firms signed contracts for developing the remaining phases of the giant South Pars gas field, including phases 13, 14, 19, 22, 23 and 24 in June.
The Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO) and Petropars, Iranian Petro Paidar and Petrosina companies are due to execute the project for the development of phases 13, 14, 19, 22, 23, and 24 of the South Pars Special Energy Zone (SPSEZ).
Known as the world’s largest gas field, South Pars holds an estimated 50.97 trillion cubic meters (1,800 trillion cubic feet) of in-situ gas and some 50 billion barrels of condensates.
The gas field covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers, of which 3,700 square kilometers (South Pars) is in Iranian territorial waters and 6,000 square kilometers (North Dome) is in Qatar’s territorial waters.
Iran has the world’s second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.
Call for Closer Energy Cooperation With Afghanistan, Tajikistan
Iranian Minister of Energy Majid Namjou met with his Afghan and Tajik counterparts in Tehran on Sunday to discuss bilateral ties and expand cooperation among the three nations.
During the meeting Namjou underlined the expansion of ties among the Persian speaking Muslim neighbors and said “With respect to the situation in the region, we require regional cooperation and ties among neighboring countries more than ever,” Moj News Agency reported.
The official called for closer cooperation among the three countries given the history, culture, religion, and language commonalities.
Namjou pointed out that Iran possesses more than 59,000 Megawatts of installed electricity power in its various plants and provides electricity to more than 24 million units locally, adding over 27,600 Megawatts of new production capacity is being established in Iran by construction of new plants mostly by the private sector.
According to Namjou, these power plants include gas thermal, hydroelectric, wind, solar, and geothermal which will come on stream within the next five years.
Iran has a special view on expanding its electricity production through renewable sources, Namjou added.
At the moment Iran’s electricity grids are connected to almost all its neighbors and the possibility of connecting to Tajikistan and some Persian Gulf states are being studied by respective technicians, he said.
Iran is currently exporting technical and engineering services to many countries and is willing to expand its activity in the field, Namjou concluded.
Steel Producers Back Subsidy Reform Plan
Steel producers of private sector have declared their support for the implementation of the Subsidy Reform Plan.
The Subsidy Reform Plan has been ratified by government and all should abide by it, said Hamidreza Taherizadeh, deputy head of the Association of Steel Producers, Persian daily Donya-ye Eqtesad wrote. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of 7th Fair on Metallurgical and Steel Industry, he said the Subsidy Reform Plan would not affect the production sector, adding that it will have relative influence on the energy sector.
He said with the implementation of the Subsidy Reform Plan, the steel mill units will witness a rise in the costs due to energy consumption.
The production line for the rolling mill sector will be launched in the near future, he said, and added that in light of the government supportive packages and low-interest loans, the producers can purchase new machineries for the production line.
Highlighting that there are untapped capacities in the rolling mill sector, Taherizadeh said, “We can tap them through importing steel ingots.”On supplying the required steel for Mehr housing scheme, he said it has been decided that the required steel ingots for the rolling mill sector are supplied through cooperation of ministries of housing, industries and mines as well as the Association of Steel Producers.
“Given the untapped capacity of some still mill production lines, we need the government support to supply the ferrous scrap and raw material.”
He said the steel mill and rolling mill units including Khuzestan, South, etc produce at their maximum level, adding if the sufficient ferrous scrap is imported, the production capacity can be raised. The official expressed the hope that more still mill and rolling mill units would be inaugurated in coming years.
He put the capacity of rolling mill production lines at 15 million tons, adding once the required steel ingots are supplied, the capacity would reach 17 million tons.
The official went on to say that the Association of Steel Producers has registered Moin Steel Supporters Cooperative for supplying the required steel ingots.
All steelmakers are subsidiaries of this cooperative which has 21-22 members, he elaborated.
Currently Association of Steel Producers and Housing Ministry have agreed to import over 100,000 tons of steel ingots, of which 50,000 tons have been supplied and delivered to Mehr housing projects, he pointed out.
Economic Delegation in Herat To Bolster Ties
A delegation of 30 Iranian businessmen and economic officials traveled to Afghan city of Herat in a bid to further expand economic relations and cooperation between the two neighboring countries.
“A trade delegation was dispatched to Afghanistan to develop economic relations between the two countries and gain an understanding of the target market,” head of the Chamber of Commerce, Trade and Economy South Khorassan province, Mohsen Ehtesham, said on Sunday.
The trade delegation is due to meet with the members of Afghanistan’s Chamber of Trade and also officials of Afghanistan’s Investment Support Agency (AISA) and Arian Bank of Afghanistan to discuss ways of increasing mutual cooperation, he added, Fars News Agency wrote.
“The dispatched delegation will also visit the trade centers and the industrial town in Herat,” Ehtesham said.
Several Iranian provinces have underlined their willingness to boost economic interaction with the neighboring countries, Afghanistan in particular.
A senior Iranian official announced on Saturday that the country’s Cooperatives Ministry has started dispatching trade delegations to the foreign countries to attract foreign investors.
Iranian Deputy Cooperatives Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs Abdol-Majid Qarib-Reza said his ministry has adopted various measures in a bid to boost the country’s cooperative sector through attracting foreign capital-holders, Fars News Agency reported.
“Attracting investors interested in making investments in Iran’s cooperative sector is among the ministry’s priorities,” Qarib-Reza said. He said the ministry has set up a number of trade delegations to boost trade activities in the cooperative sector and increase the regional and international activities and relations of the Iranian cooperatives.
Qarib-Reza pointed out that studies are underway to identify those countries which enjoy the necessary investment capabilities and encourage them to join projects of Iranian cooperative sector.
Wooing Expats’ Investment
Minister of Economic Affairs Shamseddin Hosseini said the ministry has put on agenda to use the potentials of expats as part of the effort to take better advantage of capacities for national economy. Speaking at a seminar on achievements of Iranian expatriates in Tehran, he pointed out that the significant growth in Tehran Stock Exchange index is due to foreign investment. He said close to $200 million worth of investment made in bourse belongs to Iranians living abroad, Mehr News Agency.
Commenting on the attraction of financial capacities of Iranian expatriates, he said a foreign exchange fund is launched for Iranians’ Investment. It has been formed with contribution of monetary institutes run by Iranians living inside and outside the county, he underlined, adding that initial public offering (IPO) process is near completion. He said, “We hold numerous seminars inside and outside the country in an attempt to encourage Iranian expats to invest in Iran.”
Several businessmen and traders from Iran and Brazil are scheduled to gather in Tehran on Monday to review ways of expanding bilateral economic cooperation.