In Ashgabat, on the sidelines of the Russian-Turkmen Business Forum, a cooperation agreement and a memorandum of intent on the establishment of a logistics center of Turkmenistan in the Astrakhan region were signed.
The parties will identify potential investors, jointly form a cargo base and begin to establish the process of container transportation through the ports of Astrakhan and Turkmenbashi. The launch of the logistics center will increase trade turnover between Russia and Turkmenistan, the Ministry of External Relations of the Astrakhan Region of the Russian Federation says.
Sergey Milushkin, General Director of JSC “Special Economic Zone Lotos” in interview with Astrakhan-24 TV channel revealed some details about upcoming joint work on the project.
According to the memorandum, after the Turkmen side has prepared the project and conducted a preliminary assessment of the necessary investments, a roadmap will be developed and an agreement on the establishment of a logistics center will be concluded.
“It is necessary to work out all the technical and organizational issues for the creation of a logistics center, which, in fact, will be the first of its kind and will serve as an example for our other partners from the Caspian states,” he stressed.
In the port special economic zone, several sites have been identified near the 8th and 9th berths of the port of Olya. The land was transferred to the anchor resident – the port logistics company “Caspian”. Infrastructure is already being created there, construction of facilities for transshipment of containers, grain and oil has begun.
“In the spring of this year, we plan to ship grain in the direction of our southern neighbors according to a temporary scheme,” Sergey Milushkin said.
“At the same time, the design is being completed and a tender will be announced for the construction of a container terminal with an initial capacity of 1 million tons of cargo per year. We are waiting for the conclusion of the state examination in the near future. In 2024, we will begin loading and unloading containers”, he added.
According to Milushkin, the logistics center of Turkmenistan in the port SEZ will be an important incentive for the development of cargo transportation from Central Asia to Russia and back, will allow connecting other countries that do not have direct access to the Caspian Sea to the international transport corridor “North – South”.
“Recently, at the talks in Astrakhan, colleagues from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan expressed interest in transshipment of goods from Turkmenistan to Astrakhan,” he reminded.
“The business circles of Iran, India, and Arab countries are also showing interest in the project of our port special economic zone. We expect that the number of project participants will grow”, he said. ///nCa, 26 January 2023