Very large container ships with capacities of up to 22,000 20-foot equivalent unit containers (TEU) would be able to dock at Iranís Shahid Rajaee port on the Persian Gulf coast by March, says Iranís chief maritime and port official.
Mohammad Rastad said on Tuesday that some 900 meters of a new wharf at Shahid Rajaee port would come on line by the end of the current calendar year to enable Iran to process mega-ships in the facility for a first time.
The construction of the wharf is part of the phase 3 of development work at Shahid Rajaei port, currently 59th on the global ranking of large container ports.
Development of the port, responsible for nearly 90 percent of container activity in Iran, has faced hurdles due to recurrent US sanctions targeting operator companies in the area.
However, despite growing American pressure, the facility has remained a major gateway for trade between Iran and the rest of the world.
The current administrative government in Iran plans to increase Shahid Rajaeeís annual capacity to 1.5 million TEU by August next year. That would hugely boost Iranís capability for exports of various finished products as the government seeks to diversify the economy away from crude revenues.
Other ports in southern Iran, including Bandar Imam Port to the west of the Persian Gulf where giant dry bulk ships dock, have been modernized by the government in recent years to avoid any halt to trade.
Iran is also developing a large ocean port in Chabahar on the Sea of Oman to facilitate trade between the Indian Ocean and landlocked countries to the east and northeast of Iran.