The new port, which opened on 1 February with two berths supplying a container terminal, has been privately financed but Iranian transport authorities say the development will complement government efforts to expand and modernise the country’s ports infrastructure.

“It is a small operation at the beginning but there are plans to expand the site in time,” says Mohammed Ali Hassanzadeh, head of the investment office at Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation (PMO), speaking on the fringe of MEED’s Port Development Conference in Dubai on 2 February.

The fact that the project did not require any government funding has also pleased Tehran at a time when Iran is pushing ahead with port expansion plans on the Gulf and Caspian Sea coasts. The country has struggled to find financing to develop its transport infrastructure and has several projects competing for limited funds.