India Delivers 1st Batch of Cargo Handling Equipment to Iran’s Port of Chabahar
- January, 18, 2021 - 14:40
- Economy news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The first shipment of strategic port terminal handling equipment was delivered to Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar by an Indian contractor involved in the development of the port.
India has delivered the consignment of heavy equipment, including cranes, for further development of the Chabahar port, signaling New Delhi’s commitment to the strategic connectivity project that can provide access to markets in Central Asia.
According to the Hindustan Times, the consignment included two mobile harbor cranes of 140 tons, which were acquired from the Italian firm Italgru S.r.l. under a deal for a total of six cranes, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity.
“The first shipment of strategic loading and unloading equipment worth $8.5 million has arrived in Chabahar port to mark the activation of the contract between the Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) and the Indian side,” said Behrouz Aghaei, director-general of the ports and maritime department of Iran’s Sistan and Balouchestan province.
Aghaei also said that the Indian company – during a project which includes two port cranes – would make an investment of $85 million in the Iranian port under a long-term contract.
“The newly-imported apparatus would be utilized for loading and unloading freight in the first phase of development of Shahid Beheshti port”, he added.
Aqaei highlighted the role of Chabahar in extra-regional trade, calling on Iranian and foreign investors to seize the opportunities in Chabahar.
The cranes were set to be delivered in January, months after India cancelled a $30-million contract with Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries for heavy cranes because of delays by the Chinese company in supplying the equipment ordered in 2017.
Despite the Chabahar port being granted a waiver from US sanctions on Iran, India has faced problems in acquiring heavy equipment from foreign countries, mainly because of the reluctance of foreign banks to open letters of credit (LoCs) for a project within Iran.
A special process was adopted to acquire the cranes from Italy that sidestepped the sanctions issue, the people cited above said. The cranes were shipped to India before being transported to Chabahar, they added.
Aghaei said the Indian side will operate Shahid Beheshti terminal under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract and this was the first time such a deal is being implemented in an Iranian port with 100 per cent foreign investment.