Azerbaijan's Transport Ministry plans to start transferring the Baku Port's ferry terminal to a new port at the Alat settlement in the Garadagh district of the capital Baku in late June this year.
The port is currently under construction, Trend Agency quoted Deputy Transport Minister Musa Panahov as saying on January 28.
He noted the construction of the ferry terminal, which is actively underway, will enable it to start operating in line with the set timeframes. This, in turn, will make it possible to move the ferry terminal outside the city centre.
"Active work is also underway as part of the creation of container and dry cargo terminals. A container terminal corresponding to modern requirements is planned to be established in order to facilitate the prospective transshipment of containerized cargo from the East in the future," Panahov said.
The work on construction of the new seaport is being carried out by the Complex Construction Directorate under the Transport Ministry.
Under the project, Dutch contracting company Van Oord will finish the work in the maritime part of the new port, and local company Azerkorpu will conduct preparations for the main operations on its ground part.
Construction work, which started in November 2010, is carried out in three stages. The first phase of the project involves the construction of two ferries and three cargo berths for receiving containers and conventional bulk carriers. The second phase of the project envisions the construction of three additional cargo berths, and the third one concerned the construction of two more cargo berths.
During the first stage, the port will be capable of handling up to 10 million tons of cargo. In the second stage, the capacity will reach 17 million tons of cargo. During the last stage, the port will manage handling 25 million tons of cargo.
In addition to a logistics center, a free economic zone will be created in the territory of the port in the future. Construction work will cost the Azerbaijani government over $1.1 billion.
The shipment capacity of the old Baku Port is currently 5-10 million tons of loads per year. The transportation of cargo from the port takes a long time due to the location of the port in the center of Baku and the heavy traffic in the capital city.
The construction of the new international sea trade port will significantly increase the flow of goods and the volume of transit cargo.
The creation of a powerful port infrastructure is important for transporting goods via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway which is expected to be fully commissioned in 2015.
Panahov went on to say that work on the creation of a new railway is well underway in both Georgia and Turkey. Work is also underway for the renewal and reconstruction of railways in Azerbaijan.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project envisages the reconstruction of some 153 kilometers of Marabda-Kartsakhi rails and the construction of a 27-kilometer railway line from Akhalkalaki to the border with Turkey.
Work on the section is being carried out in four stages. Till now, some 31 percent of the construction work for the Georgian section of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has been completed.
The first test wagons are planned to be sent up to Georgia's border with Turkey in October 2014 as part of the new railway project.