2013 – Azerbaijan, Intermodal, Construction of the International Transport Logistics Centre (ILC) in the New Baku

    2013 – Azerbaijan, Intermodal, Construction of the International Transport Logistics Centre (ILC) in the New Baku

    2013 – Azerbaijan, Intermodal, ILC construction in New Baku.png

     

    Intermodal Project – New construction. The ILC on a 50ha land plot at the New Baku International Sea Trade Port at Alyat is a greenfield site and located about 70 km to the south of Baku, on the Caspian Sea, where TRACECA and North-South corridor cross each other:

    • Road: the east-west highway M4 and M1 (Baku - Tbilisi - Poti/Batumi) and the north south highway M2 and M3 (Russia via Baku to Iran).
    • Rail: the main railway to Georgia (Baku - Tbilisi - Poti/Batumi) and the railway from Russia to Iran via Baku, Lenkoran and Astara, which cross at Alyat Station.
    Technical description

    The ILC development project will bring the following benefits: 

    • Improved containerization along the TRACECA corridor, development of the new type of transport and logistics services to increase attractiveness of the TRACECA route in terms of liability of transportation and supply chain, reduction of travel times and costs.
    • Development of new businesses in freight transport and logistics sector in the metropolis region of Baku, contribution to the port attractiveness as a central hub on the Caspian region, thus creating a shift of cargo flows onto the TRACECA corridor.
    • Facilitation of intramodality and development of the container transportation on Caspian Sea.
    • Becoming a linking node in the network of the Logistics Centers in Central Asia and logistics terminals in Iran and Russia, thus contributing to the continuity of the transportation along TRACECA.
    Investment amount

    The project is evaluated at 38 mln. EUR 

    Implementation schedule

    The project has two consequent steps:

    • New development of infrastructure on BOT basis (preparation of the plot, utilities, communication, integration into the transport network via access railway and access road, development of the Logistics Centre land plot (land filling), internal road and railway network, establishment of the container terminal).
    • Attraction of the logistics business to settle in the new facility, i.e. investment in warehouses, logistics facilities, supporting services, establishment of the value added services in the Logistics Centre.

     

    The construction of the port is an up-stream project for the development of the International Logistics Centre. While the construction of the port is progressing under the responsibility of the Ministry of Transport and a dedicated company for the development of the port territory has been created, the development of the adjacent ILC land plot is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy as an investment promotion project. Preparation of the ILC land plot, the definition of the share of public investment, the design of the PPP scheme and coordination with other public services involved (customs, etc.) remain on the agenda.

    Status

    Construction of the New Baku International Sea Trade Port at Alyat is underway. A two-way navigation access channel of 7.5 km length, 160 m width and 7.6 m depth was dredged in 2013. Rail and road connections to the national Azerbaijani networks were also built during this first phase (including a new highway to Baku and Sumgait). The two ferry bridges were completed and opened in November 2014. Ever since, all rail ferries call at Alyat. On condition that four locos are available for stevedoring operations, the port can handle up to four vessels per day (the average duration of a call is 10-12 h). Five out of a planned 11 rail tracks are already under operations. Marshalling takes place in 2 phases: export wagons are sorted first by destination at Alyat railway station then again by weight within the port area.

     

    The next step will be the completion of the Ro-Ro berth and related facilities (buffer parking close to the berth for loading/discharging operations, larger backyard parking place with amenities for drivers and service station for trucks, etc.). This part of the port should open by the end of 2015, beginning of 2016.

     

    The construction of the three general cargo and container berths (650 m long in total) and adjacent open storage areas is also under way.

    The port is designed for the optimal Caspian vessel size of 13,500 DWT.

     

    Generally works are progressing though at a slower pace than before due to budget restrictions resulting from the sharp drop in oil prices since 2014 (the workforce at site has been reduced from 1,600 to 200 people). Alyat should be an ISPS compliant port in the future.

    Expected impacts on transport, environment, social, other

    Alyat is situated at a critical point of the TRACECA corridor, where the east-west and north-south railway lines meet. On completion of the new port the ILC will have unrivalled access to sea, rail and road modes, within an hour's drive from the capital, making it an ideal location for intermodal transfer services, allowing significant modal shift away from road. Alyat will provide modern intermodal facilities and a wide range of logistics services hitherto unavailable in Azerbaijan.

     

    Environmental impacts: According to the plan, residential areas in the investigation area are impacted by the project. The impacts caused by the ILC development are due to noise (traffic and logistics) and pollution (mostly by traffic). But the noise from the projected sea trade port will almost cover the noise from the envisaged ILC. It is unlikely that this effect would be additional. The land reclamation is the greatest impact of the projected ILC, as it reduces the biomass production. Potential land for biological processes will be lost. Habitats for protected animals will possibly be lost. This should be compensated. In view of currently foreseeable impacts (sand dunes and water sewage), the project can even have a positive effect on the environment, as new standards effectively can be implemented. Noise and air pollution will have some influence on the residential area, because the area has been hardly developed. It is not likely that the groundwater will be influenced by the ILC project, if state-of-the-art technical measures are built in (for example oil separators for all water collecting on traffic areas, collecting of waste water and recycling of water in the container washing plants).

     

    For compensation of land reclamation it is necessary to find compensation measures for the plants and the animals living on the area. Therefore, it will be advisable to find an area with appropriate conditions to recultivate the vegetation, so that it could be a habitat for the kind of animals that are likely to be found in the project area, especially the Caspian turtle and the Spur-thigh tortoise and other amphibians, reptiles and birds.

     

    Considering such a situation of biodiversity, new artificial landscapes (using the areas of coastal territories) shall be created and covered with vegetation and small water bodies to replace old, structurally destroyed natural biotopes. These biotopes will then be inhabited by animals whose living space is affected or influenced by excavation and reconstruction works during the project implementation.

     

    Socio-economic impacts: The port should also open up new commercial and employment opportunities within its hinterland. The ILC will support Azerbaijan's efforts to diversify its economy and reduce regional and sectoral disparities. This will be done by reducing transport and logistics costs, thereby promoting investment and job creation. Furthermore, the Logistics Centre strengthens economic and other ties within the South Caucasus region, and between that region and its neighbors to the north (Russia), east (Central Asia), south (Iran) and west (Turkey and beyond).

    Source of fundig
    IFI, State budget, PPP (source of repayments)
    References

     

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