A first batch of gantry cranes commissioned by India for operation in Iran’s Chabahar port has finally arrived in the coastal area on the Sea of Oman, says an Iranian official.
“The imported equipment will be used for loading and unloading services for goods in the first phase of development plan for Shahid Beheshti port,” said Behrouz Aghayi, local head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) in the southeastern province of Sistan and Balochestan, on Sunday.
Chabahar is Iran’s only ocean port where the government has launched an ambitious investment plan to turn the location into a major hub of trade between the Indian Ocean and landlocked countries to the east and north of Iran.
India has been a partner in development plans for Chabahar, especially in efforts to build out its large container processing facility dubbed Shahir Beheshti.
Citing American sanctions on Iran as a barrier, India has repeatedly delayed the supply of investment and equipment to Chabahar. That has caused Iran to award contracts for development projects to either local companies or major firms from other countries.
Aghayi said the two gantry cranes supplied by the Indians are worth $8.5 million, adding that the Indian government has a commitment to invest $85 million in Chabahar as part of a build–operate–transfer agreement with the PMO.
He said domestic and other foreign investors would be welcome to launch investment and development projects in Chabahar.
“Investment by one country does not bar the contribution of other countries to development plans at Chabahar port,” the official was quoted by local news agencies.