The New Port in Alat
An advantageous location
The New Port in Alat is a transportation hub linking the west (Turkey & EU), south (Iran & India) and north (Russia). Situated in the vicinity of the regions of Azerbaijan, it will also increase its connectivity as an efficient hub and so increase the volume of cargo being handled. In addition, new port location is linked to existing highways and railways, connecting the port to the inland regions of the country.
There are three international rail routes into Azerbaijan, which all converge at Alyat:
• To the northwest, passing through Baku to Russia
• To the west, passing through Georgia to the shores of the Black Sea and Turkey.
• To the south and to the border area with Iran.
The New Port will be capable of serving 150 – 160 metre-long, 10,000 tonne capacity ferries and all other types of vessels serving the Caspian Sea. The location enables a modular expansion of all the facilities for different cargo segments (rail ferry, general cargo, container and bulk) once cargo turnover increases.
Phase One of the new port in Alat comprises a ferry terminal, a general cargo berth, a Ro-Ro berth, a service berth, railway lines, various administrative buildings, a customs holding area, an open storage yard, warehouses, a container yard, rail and road access to berths, a Ro-Ro ramp, a passenger service building, a heavy lift landing area and a truck amenities area.
Project completion dates for Phase One have been divided into three stages. The first stage—the Ferry (Rail) Terminal—was completed in September 2014; the second stage—the Ro-Ro Berth—will be completed in 2016; and the remaining works in 2017. 60% of the overall work for Phase One has already been completed.
The lengths of the quays are as follows:
- General Cargo Quay – 650 m (4 berths)
- Ro-Ro Quay – 300 m (1 berth)
- Service Berth – 450 m (multiple berths)
The berths are all dredged to -7 m Caspian datum.
All direct transit rail transshipments between Azerbaijan and Europe or Central Asia (onto China and the rest of Asia) are via this Ferry (Rail) Terminal. Currently, if containers are transported to their final destination on a rail platform (without being unloaded and loaded onto a container vessel) they are transferred directly onto a rail platform and use the Ferry Terminal in the New Port. If they are unloaded from a rail platform and then loaded onto a dedicated container vessel, then they come to the old port in downtown Baku. With the completion of Phase One, all such intermodal operations will be done in the New Port of Baku in Alat.
The completion of Phase One will also see an overall cargo throughput at the New Port at Alyat of 10–11.5 million tonnes of general cargo and 40,000–50,000 TEU in containers.
Phase Two and Phase Three
The expansion of the New Port is linked to the increased flow in potential cargo and on the speed of growth of the various business segments. In other words, the decision on when to start the construction of Phase Two and Phase Three will depend on existing cargo volumes. In general, these next phases are likely to follow the PPP (or BOT) type of partnership model, whereby a private party will likely invest, construct and operate these expansions.
The forecasts for the three phases are as follows:
Phase One: 10–11.5 million tons of general cargo + 40,000–50,000 TEU;
Phase Two: 17 million tons of general cargo + 150,000 TEU;
Phase Three: 21–25 million tons of general cargo + up to 1 million TEU.
State of the art systems
Intelligent resource planning, control and monitoring of terminal operating systems will be implemented at the New Port. This will enable the efficient use of resources to achieve and maintain a consistent high level of cargo port productivity, resulting in the rapid dispatch of cargo.
The port will be equipped with the latest surveillance and intrusion detection technology to prevent against any attempted breaches of port perimeters. Access control systems will also be employed to allow the protection of border and perimeter personnel and assets, to be achieved with a high degree of security and integrity.
TIR Truck Centre
This facility will be at the disposal of our trucking customers at the New Port at Alyat. It will consist of truck companies’ offices, a resting area with a hotel, truck wash and gas station to service the trucks, a bus station and other facilities to ensure that the trucking companies’ needs are met and that truck drivers are well rested to safely and effectively perform their duties.
Customs Inspection Centre
This new customs inspection area is planned with streamlined procedures and the latest scanning technology to reduce the queuing of cargo for loading and unloading at the vessel quay area.
The new seaport aims to achieve Green Port status by employing various efficiency technologies to reduce its carbon footprint, and will have a programme of reducing waste from port operations through material reuse, recycling and composting. It will be designed to allow the management, treatment and disposal of all wastes generated during the operations. Appropriate waste treatment plans and equipment will be installed at the port site.
Green zones will be created to the north and west of the port, along the coastline and around the switchyard. These zones will target soil enrichment and the moderation of the local microclimate, resulting in a more positive impact on the natural semi-desert landscape. Rainwater from the roofs of the buildings will be used to develop and to water these aesthetic landscapes.
Positive socio-economic impacts will be generated, including an increase in employment opportunities, particularly in port and port-related logistics jobs.
Currently, about 80% of cargo is deemed to be transshipment, while 20% is gateway (such as fuel, construction materials, agriculture products and so on). This percentage split is likely to change with the start of the FZ, envisioned to be similar to the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), UAE. With it, the Port of Baku will act as a major logistics hub in Central Eurasia, serving both European and Asian markets, as well as being part of an extensive international logistics network linking Europe and Asia. In particular, Port of Baku will trade & become the major centre for consolidation, concentration and distribution, providing a wide range of value-added services in the region to the markets of the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Iran, southern Russia and Turkey. There are a significant number of activities that can be classified as value-added services in the field of logistics. Generally, they fall into two categories:
- General Logistics Services, including storage, loading and unloading, stripping, unstuffing, groupage, consolidation and distribution.
- Value-Added Logistics (VAL), including repackaging, customising, assembly, quality control, testing, repair, on-terminal, auto-accessorising, grain storage and fumigating, news print storage, storage of commodities and transfer and in-container garment assembly.
General value-added services include services such as the maintenance, renting and leasing of equipment, cleaning facilities, tanking, safety, security services, offices and information and communication services of various kinds. VAL activities, in particular, are growing in importance as producers concentrate on meeting the demands of customers for high quality specialised products. New players in this field of third party logistics services providers will be attracted to the Port of Baku at Alyat to take over parts of the production chain (assembly, quality control, customising, packaging and others) and of the after-sales services (including repair and re-use).
FZ would be in a natural position to participate in this logistics niche. It will be linked to other Caspian ports via high quality maritime connections through the New Port of Baku in Alat, and intermodal road and rail transport services from Alat to Georgia, Iran, Turkey, Russia and southeast Europe, while also providing air freight services from Baku International Airport.
The activity in FZ will create an additional volume of cargo aimed at exports. The majority of these cargoes is likely to be transported in containers via the various intermodal forms of transport.