20 Nov 2023 17:56

Kazakhstan negotiating Aktau and Kuryk projects with Chinese cos - minister

ASTANA. Nov 20 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan is negotiating with China's Cosco Shipping and Lianyungang Port concerning new projects at the Aktau and the Kuryk ports on the Caspian Sea, Kazakh Transport Minister Marat Karabayev said.

"Negotiations are being held with the Chinese companies Cosco Shipping and Lianyungang Port on new projects concerning a number of terminals at our seaports Aktau and Kuryk," Karabayev said at a Monday briefing.

In addition, Kazakhstan and Cosco Shipping are discussing a project for new terminals at the railway checkpoints Bakhty and Ayagoz in east Kazakhstan, the minister said.

Karabayev said on November 17 that Kazakhstan was ready to transfer the Aktau and Kuryk seaports to a private company for trust management on condition that this company ensures that the ports operate at their design shipment capacity.

The Transport Ministry is also considering a possibility of selling stakes in the seaports on a ship-or-pay basis, according to Karabayev.

The Kuryk seaport, located 100 kilometers from the Aktau international seaport, is part of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route that starts in China and goes to Turkey and European countries through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The handling capacity of the Kuryk seaport is 6 million tonnes of cargo a year.

National Company Aktau Commercial Seaport JSC is under 100% trust management of National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, the national railway operator. The Aktau seaport is situated on the Mangyshlak peninsula of the Caspian Sea. The handling capacity of the port is 2.5 million tonnes of dry cargo a year, 4,000 tonnes of grain, 12 million tonnes of oil and 2 million tonnes of ferry cargoes.