Shahid Rajaee Port, Iran’s biggest container port at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, is reclaiming its past glory as a major international port following the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in January 2016.
Shahid Rajaee Special Economic Zone, which has loading/unloading capacity of 100 million tons, accounts for over 55% of Iran’s trade and 70% of transit. Over 85% of Iran’s containers are handled in Shahid Rajaee Complex, IRNA reported.
With 18 gantry cranes and 40 berths, Shahid Rajaee is the most advanced container port of Iran where 12,000 TEU-plus Panamax cargo ships can enter.
Launched in 1985, the port has expanded every year thereafter. Today it is connected to 80 top ports across the world. The significance of this port lies in its large capacity, including its location in the Persian Gulf, container terminal, fuel bunkering, access to 24 kilometers of railroads and round-the-clock truck transportation.
Hormozgan Province, where Shahid Rajaee is located, has 32 active ports, including Shahid Bahonar, Jask, Lengeh, Tiab, Aftab and Kish, which act as backups to Shahid Rajaee.
“Plans are underway to increase the capacity of Iranian ports to 250 million tons in the next four year, with focus on Shahid Rajaee Port,” says deputy minister of roads and urban development, Mohammad Saeednejad. Thanks to the government’s efforts, aggregate port capacities rose to 210 million tons in the last Iranian year (March 2016-17) from 180 million tons in 2013-14.
“Three major projects, including the construction of Terminal 3 and oil rigs in Shahid Rajaee Complex, were launched over these years. Upon the completion of Terminal 3, the contract on procurement of equipment will be signed with private sector companies,” he said.
According to Saeednejad, Shahid Rajaee Complex is the closest port to Central Asia with different access routes.
“Before the imposition of nuclear sanctions against Iran, Shahid Rajaee Port ranked 45the among the world’s top 100 container ports,” Allahmorad Afifipour, director general of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organization, said.
“For the port to regain its past ranking, plans are to develop hinterland container connectivity and use modern container equipment.”
Afifipour noted that the first and second phases of expansion of Shahid Rajaee Port have been completed and their equipment would be installed by March 2018 to increase the port’s capacity by 6 million TEU.
“The third phase of the port’s development will be completed after two years and its capacity will hit 8 million TEU.
The construction of three berths, which will be used to export refineries’ products, particularly those of Persian Gulf Star Oil Company—Bandar Abbas Gas Condensate Refinery, has started and will be completed in 24 months. These berths will give services to vessels of 5,000 to 100,000 tons and boost Shahid Rajaee Port capacity to 34 million tons.”
Referring to an oil bunker with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters, which has been established in Shahid Rajaee Port, the official added that six projects are scheduled to be launched by March 2018.
Scores of projects worth 30 trillion rials ($800 million) are underway in Shahid Rajaee Complex, the most important of which are the construction projects of three oil rigs and access routes worth 1.5 trillion rials ($40 million).
These projects will create 1,000 jobs over a two-year period and increase the capacity for exporting 34 million tons of petroleum products.
“Eleven development projects worth 6,180 billion rials ($167.02 million) will come on stream in Shahid Rajaee Port by the end of the current fiscal year. These projects will create close to 800 jobs and include the construction of two desalination plants, four petroleum products storage terminals, two container logistics terminals, a standard terminal to store hazardous materials, a truck terminal and a motor repair shop,” he said.
According to Alireza Dashtani, customs inspector of Hormozgan Province, 44 million tons of goods worth more than $11.14 billion were exported from and nearly 10 million tons worth $18.65 billion were imported to Iran via Shahid Rajaee Port in the last fiscal year.
This registered a 44% and 12% growth in tonnage and value respectively compared to the year before. Some 5 million tons of cargos were transshipped at the port during the period.