DP World may invest up to US $1bn in Iranian ports
DP World is considering marine investments in Iran of up to US $1 billion, the IRNA news agency has quoted officials as saying.
The news came as a delegation from the Dubai-based company, including its chairman and executives and British partners, visited Iran on a three-day trip to study investment opportunities.
According to the IRNA, the delegates visited the Caspian port of Bandar Anzali, the Qeshm Island in the Arabian Gulf and Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman to assess cargo capacities.
“The Emirati delegation will be examining the capacities of the three free trade zones for an investment of US $500-million to US $1-billion,” deputy head of the Chabahar Free Trade Zone Mohsen Mohammadi Moin told IRNA.
DP World operates a portfolio of more than 65 terminals across the world. In 2006, it acquired the world’s fourth largest port operator, London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), for US $7-billion.
Iran officials are preparing port infrastructure to an expected surge in trade once Western sanctions are dropped in-line with a nuclear deal being worked out between Tehran and six world powers (the US, UK, France, Germany, China and Russia).
According to state officials, Iranian ports in the Arabian Gulf, especially Shahid Rajaee, the country’s largest container port, are already seeing increased port call by major ocean carriers.
In addition, several foreign delegations have visited Shahid Rajaee and other Iranian ports to examine investment opportunities.
Iran, once sanctions are dropped, will offer a unique transit corridor linking Russia and Central Asia to the subcontinent and the Arabian Gulf. It’s large size and stability in comparison to Iraq and Syria also makes it a good overland option for Turkish traders looking for access to Middle East markets.
Iran has stepped up trans-Caspian transit by expanding its fleet of cargo ships in Bandar Anzali and two more ports for trade with Russia, Kazakhstan and other regional countries.
From the Caspian shores, a railway runs all the way across Iran to the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.
India signed a memorandum of understanding in May for development of the Chabahar Port to operate container and multi-purpose cargo ships to boost trade with the ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent Countries.
Iranian officials say many other foreign companies are planning investment in Chabahar, which is seen a potential transit hub in the Sea of Oman.