The country’s first Dry Port in Yazd has been developed aimed at changing the Yazd region into a “logistic hub” not only in Iran, but in the Middle East, said Mohammad Reza Rezaeinejad, the CEO at Pishgaman Cooperation Group during his speech at the first Specialized Symposium on rail transport of steel products.
“Transportation in our country is in a way that it can even overtake oil revenues if it is put forth on the right track”, said Rezaeinejad at the event jointly held by Iran Railways and Dry Port. The CEO added that unfortunately such great geographical location, which could have turned into a substantial wealth, has been ignored. Pishgaman Cooperation Group is seriously seeking to make the best use of high capacities of Pishgaman Dry Port in order to add on the country’s railway capacity, pledged Rezaeinejad. He urged the administration to consider private sector companies as foreign investors and facilitate the investment process.
According to Rezaeinejad, Pishgaman is planning to create a symbolic capital based on its social value of being from Yazd province as well as financial capital for railway projects in order for the value creation to surpass investment. Creating dry ports in the country will claim 30 % of the activities currently burdened by the seaports, according to Rezaeinejad who also believes that dry ports are highly effective in the development and prosperity of rail transport.
The CEO pointed to creation of a chain for goods management and supply from the origin to the consumption destination as another plan devised by Pishgaman, adding that the company has on agenda the capillary distribution of fruits throughout the country. He said having obtained the necessary licenses, such chain is about to be implemented in Tehran by Pishgaman for postal services.
Railway’s share of the goods in transport is expected to hit 30% by 2023 while despite all the attempts, the figure stood at 9% or 47 million tons during last Iranian calendar year which finished March 20, 2017, said Seyyed Mostafa Davoodi, the general manager at Yazd province railway who was also speaking at the event.
Davoodi added that the country’s share of goods transport reached 62 million tons last Iranian year and 75% of the railway expectation was realized. This is while Yazd province could accomplish 92% of its envisaged plans.
Touching on steel sector and rail transport in Yazd province, Davoodi continued that steel industry’s share on rail transport is 78% or 31.4 million metric tons, which is expected to jump to 101 million tons in 2023.
According to Davoodi, the province currently produces 28 million tons of iron ore, 16 million tons of iron concentrate, 16 million tons of iron pellets, and 4 million tons of steel products, out of which only 6.4, 10.2, 0.6, and 0.025 million tons were transported by rail, respectively. This is while the province has a 27-million-ton capacity for rail transport.
He highlighted the importance of connecting iron mines and steel plants to the national railway network as a means to supply raw materials and also to transport steel products. “Connection of Iranian railway to those of Turkey, Armenia, Iraq and the Caucasian region as well as the presence of marine borders at north and south of Iran have all created wonderful opportunities for exporters”, reiterated Davoodi.
According to Davoodi, rail transport has numerous advantages over road transport such as more competitive costs, higher capacities, better management, reduction in side fees of companies, and growth in liquidity due to lower freights and clearances of every two months.
He also brought about 16,000 fatalities on roads last year, emphasizing that shifting to rail transport will decrease fatalities and fuel consumption by one seventh for each ton, and will also lead to longer lives of the road pavements.
According to the railway general manager, road and rail transport are complementary to one another. Meanwhile, considering the huge investments made in steel sector, no coherent plan has been adopted for development of rail network for the export of these products. He suggested that considering the infrastructure in rail transport, steelmakers should plan to connect to the railway network.
The symposium, which was held jointly by Pishgaman Dry Port and the Railway, ended with a panel in which the two managers answered the questions raised by steel manufacturers.