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Argus Black Sea and Caspian Transportation Corridor
3rd International Conference Argus Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor 2016
International price reporting agency Argus held its 3rd International Conference Argus Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor 2016 on 15—16 September in Batumi, Georgia.
Traditionally, the conference assembles representatives of the oil, transport and logistics companies, oil refineries, terminals as well as traders and oil buyers from different countries. This event is the best international business platform to discuss the key market issues and to learn the latest market trends of the Caspian and Black Sea region.
The conference was supported by the Government of the Ajara Autonomous Republic and Georgian Railway. Partners included key companies of the region: Georgian Transit, Petrocas Energy Group, Batumi Oil Terminal, Batumi Sea Port, GR Transit Line, Turkmen Petroleum and KNPZ.
The event hosted almost 180 delegates from Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Romania, Switzerland, Iran, Germany, Armenia and other countries, including representatives of Deltatrans Logistics, Caspian Transit, Trans Caucasus Terminals, Georgia-Iran Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GICCI), Port Constantza, Transneft, PACE Georgia, Rusagrotrans, SGS Georgia, Belarusian Potash Company, OTEKO, Poti Sea Port, Oil Marine Group, Aktau Sea Port, Aria Petroleum, Gazpromtrans, LAM Shipping Agencies Georgia, MADDOX, SOCAR, State Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange of Turkmenistan, Turkmenbashi Сomplex of Oil Refineries, etc.
On the first conference day, discussions were centred on the Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor development and prospects in the new economic environment, changes in cargo traffic flows due to the sanctions lifting against Iran, railway transit via Azerbaijan and Georgia as well as handling oil products and LPG in the Caspian and Black Sea region.
Zurab Pataradze, Chairman of the government of the Ajara Autonomous Republic Government, David Chiradze, Director, Georgian Transit, and Georgy Ermakov, Mayor of Batumi, welcomed the conference participants. They stressed the crucial role of the Argus conference in increasing the economic attractiveness of the Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor and developing the region’s transit potential. The speakers also thanked the conference participants for their willingness to work out new forms of cooperation that would help to increase the cargo traffic and cope with the reduction of cargo transportation volumes.
“Georgia is a transportation and logistics hub, which serves as a corridor between Europe and Asia. The country is involved in the current economic and transportation projects, such as Baku―Tbilisi―Kars railway and the new Silk Road construction, together with the neighbouring countries, while attracting partners on the European and global markets. The geographic location of Ajara offers excellent opportunities to develop sea transport, sea ports and other infrastructure projects”, Mr Pataradze said.
Vyacheslav Mischenko, Senior Vice President, Russia and CIS, Argus, presented the analysis of cargo traffic current condition in the Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor. He believes that petrochemical products may become a new type of cargoes to be transported via Corridor, while the logistical routes development to Iran, India and China will help to increase the cargo traffic in the region.
Alexander Sharov, Deputy Head, Iranian Department at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Business Club, added that increasing the cargo turnover in the region requires the creation of two new ferry lines to the Iranian port of Amirabad: Baku ― Amirabad and Makhachkala ― Amirabad.
Mamuka Bakhtadze, CEO, Georgian Railway, said that market is slowly recovering and the decline in cargo transportation volume has ceased. He forecasts that about one third of all cargoes in the Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor will be transported via Iran in a few years. “We expect to enhance cargo transportation next year by increasing the amount of container cargoes and launching new routes, including Baku―Tbilisi―Kars railway and connecting railway section between Azerbaijan and Iran”, Bakhtadze said.
ADY Express representative also noted that Azerbaijan expects to launch Baku―Tbilisi―Kars trunk railway shortly. First cargoes are supposed to be shipped via the route as early as in the third quarter of 2017.
Sergey Valko, CEO, South Caucasus Railway (SCR), told the participants about SCR’s activities in Armenia, the investments made into the Armenian railway infrastructure to increase the railway traffic capacity and the project of a branch railway to Iran.
The first conference day closed with a traditional cocktail reception.
The second day’s discussions were focused on the sea terminal facilities development and opportunities for container transportation in the Caspian and Black Sea region.
Most participants shared the opinion that transportation corridor has quite a high growth potential. Nugzar Katamadze, Managing Director, Petrocas Energy Group, said that the route capacity is up to 25mn t, of which only 20pc is used today. He hopes that cargo traffic will grow in future as more cargoes are shipped to Iran and transit to Central Asia and Afghanistan is increased.
Uwe Leuschner, VP, Business Development, DB Cargo, said that Germany is also interested in cooperation with the companies that operate in the Caspian and Black Sea region. Another project of interest for Germany is the Europe ― China transportation corridor development, where DB Cargo is willing to be actively involved. He also pointed out that a more flexible tariff policy is needed to tap the potential of the Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor.
The next Argus Caspian and Black Sea Transportation Corridor conference will be held in 2017.
For more information please contact Argus Conference Department:
+7 495 933 7571