Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a decree on the creation of a port special economic zone (SEZ) in the Astrakhan Region. It will appear in the area of the seaport of Olya and will be united with the industrial-production SEZ Lotus as a cargo base of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) into the Caspian Cluster with a single management company.
“The creation of the port SEZ will increase the competitiveness of Russian ports in the Caspian region and attract additional cargo traffic from the countries of the Middle East and Asia,” said Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Sergei Galkin. He also added that the federal budget provides funds for creation of infrastructure facilities of the port SEZ.
At present, agreements have been signed with five potential tenants of the port SEZ, who intend to implement investment projects related to construction and operation of the seaport infrastructure, as well as to logistics and processing plants.
“The promising outlook of the project was evaluated by private investors (one of them has already invested more than 150 million rubles in pre-project works), logistics specialists and manufacturers from Western Europe and Asia, who are interested in the INSTC as a shorter and more convenient route,” comments Sergey Milushkin, the Director General of the Special Economic Zone LOTUS, JSC. - The merger of the SEZ Lotus with the new port SEZ into the Caspian Cluster will allow more efficient development of both sites".
The anchor tenant of the port SEZ will be PLC Caspiy LLC, which will establish a port and logistics complex with a modern container terminal. The project is planned to be implemented in two stages: the first involves the modernization of the existing berths in the port of Olya, the second includes the construction of a new container terminal.
SEZ Lotus was established in the Astrakhan Region by the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation in 2014. Currently, 15 companies are its tenants, including those from Iran, Italy and other countries, with the declared amount of investments of about 29 billion rubles. For the entire period of the SEZ Lotus operation, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation assessed it as effective. In 2020, Lotus was announced the best SEZ in the special Shipbuilding category by the Global Free Zones of the Year rating, which is annually presented by the authoritative English edition fDi Magazine (a Financial Times division).