A ceremony has been held to open a ferry terminal as part of the first stage of the construction of the New Baku International Trade Sea Port Complex.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony.
Consistent and complex measures have been taken to improve the transport infrastructure in the country, including the capital Baku and increasing Azerbaijan's transit potential.
Built in the 1930s, the Baku Trade Sea Port was already outdated. Previously located in the center of Baku, the port was causing problems for local residents and impeding the expansion of the boulevard. Being one of the rapidly developing countries, Azerbaijan needed a new large and multifunctional port. Necessary measures were taken by the government under a relevant order signed by the head of state in 2007. Ordered by the Ministry of Transport, the master plan and project of the port were drawn up by Dutch Royal Haskoning company.
President Ilham Aliyev laid the foundation stone for the new port on 3 November 2010. Under the first stage of the project, the construction of the ferry terminal, a dry cargo terminal, a container terminal, an entrance and exit channel, a road, a railway, infrastructure facilities and buildings started. Thanks to its advantageous geographical location, the new port creates ample opportunities for coping with transport security issues in Azerbaijan, turning Baku into a modern and large logistics and transport hub in the Caspian basin, expanding cooperation among Caspian littoral stares, and ensuring that the North-South and East-West transport corridors operate at full capacity. As a result of the work done the ferry terminal is now ready for operation.
The head of state first reviewed a model of the complex and a photo stand reflecting the construction work.
Minister of Transport Ziya Mammadov informed President Ilham Aliyev about the work done. It was said that a 400-hectare area was allotted for the construction of the new port. The bottom-deepening work in water port area was carried out by Dutch Van Oord. The company built a port entrance channel, which is 7.5 km in length, 160 metres in width and 7 metres in depth. Its ship turning area is 450 metres in diametre. This allows all types of ships navigating in the Caspian Sea to moor safely and freely at the port's quayside jetty.
It was said that the land area of the port was prepared for the construction by EvrAsKon company, which also designed and constructed the road infrastructure linking the Baku-Alat highway with the port, and supplied and ensured the necessary equipment. As a follow-up to the first stage, a dry cargo terminal and a RO-RO quay will be inaugurated in 2016.
It was noted that the total construction area of the quay is 17 hectares. There is a berth 175 metres in length and 12.5 metres in width, which is capable of receiving two ferries at a time. Located at an altitude of 4.25 metres, the quay can receive ferries regardless changes in water levels. Two 79m railway berths and an 809m service berth were constructed here. A car yard having five railway lines, state-of-the-art navigation and communication systems, a highway, a tunnel, and other infrastructure and communication facilities and installations are ready for operation. More than 2,000 people, most of them locals, and 500 machines are involved in the large-scale construction work at the port. At the first stage, 6 million cubic metres of land disturbance and 300,000 cubic metres of concrete work was carried out, some 1,874 reinforced concrete piles were installed. The construction of the RO-RO quay and a dry cargo and container terminal consisting of four quays, as well as a repair base, waiting rooms, depots, border and customs checkpoints and other facilities continues.
It was noted that at the first stage, the port will be capable of handling up to 10 million tons of cargo and 50,000 TEUs containers. As part of the second stage, the capacity will reach 17 million tons of cargo and 150,000 TEUs containers.
During the third stage, the port will manage the handling of 25 million tons of cargo and 1 million TEUs of containers.
The creation of a logistics center is also of great importance. At the initial stage, the complex will handle 100,000 TEUs containers and offer various services to cargo owners.
The President of Azerbaijan addressed the event.
Minister of Transport Ziya Mammadov and Regional Manager of Dutch Van Oord company Hans Luijnenburg made speeches.
The head of state launched the terminal.
President Ilham Aliyev watched the loading and dispatch of Barda and Azerbaijan ferries.
A photo was taken at the close of the ceremony.