Baku Calls Upon Antwerp’s Port Expertise
The port of Baku on the Black Sea is Azerbaijan’s largest port. Now to support its further development it is calling on the know-how and expertise of the port of Antwerp. For this purpose the management of Baku International Sea Trade Port recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with two subsidiaries of Antwerp Port Authority, namely Port of Antwerp International (PAI) and Antwerp Port Training Centre (APEC), for them to provide consultancy and training. The co-signatories on the Antwerp side were Jan Blomme and Paul Verkoyen, the respective CEOs of PAI and APEC. “This agreement is the direct result of a visit to Antwerp in May this year by the Director-General of the port of Baku, Taleh Ziyadov,” explained Jan Blomme.
Construction of the International Sea Trade Port began in November 2010 and is being carried out in three phases. In the first of these the transhipment volume of the port will be expanded to 10 million tonnes and 50,000 containers per year. In the second phase the volume will be further increased to 17 million tonnes and 150,000 containers. And by the end of the third phase the levels should stand at 25 million tonnes and 1 million containers annually.
Another important element in the plans for Baku is the setting up of a logistics centre offering a wide range of added-value services for shippers, with room for 100,000 containers in the first instance.
The port of Baku is due to become an important step in the development of the “New Silk Road,” an overland trade route between China and Europe. The two subsidiaries of Antwerp Port Authority will support the Baku port management with training and will provide assistance with planning the new port and the associated logistics zone.