Iran will privatise the grain terminal at Imam Khomeini Port by April, according to a senior official at the country’s Ports & Maritime Organisation.

In 2009, Iran announced that the port, on the country’s Gulf coast close to its border with Iraq, would be privatised.

One of the port’s cargo terminals has already been privatised, according to Hasan Zadeh, head of the investment department at the country’s ports authority. However, it is not clear what company took over the operations of this terminal.

A joint venture between local terminal operator Kaveh Company and MJ Group looks likely to take over the grain terminal, which can handle 3 million tonnes of grain annually.

“Hopefully this year, in the Iranian calendar, maybe this month or the first month of next year,” says Zadeh.

The Iranian year ends in March, so the joint venture could take over at the terminal in April.

According to the port authority, Imam Khomeini Port has capacity of 37 million tonnes a year and is the country’s leading grain hub. The port has three cargo terminals and the container terminal has capacity to handle 700,000 twenty-foot equivalent units a year. The port has 40 berths in total.