The agreement calls for the lease of two dry cargo vessels with a deadweight of 5,000 tonnes each for transportation of Kazakhstan’s grain from the port of Aktau on the Caspian Sea to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The two cargo ships were acquired by KTZh Express, a subsidiary of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. On Jan. 10, the bulk freighters were registered in the Kazakhstan international ship registry under No. 1 and No. 2 and under the names Turkestan and Beket Ata.
The Turkestan captained by Dmitry Nistratov with a crew of 10 began its first voyage March 8 after receiving a shipment of domestic grain delivered to the port by rail. Two days later, the cargo arrived in Iran.
Following the Turkestan, the Beket Ata cargo ship will also soon transport 5,000 tonnes of grain.
The two vessels will be able to transport up to 15 percent, or about 300,000 tonnes, of dry cargo that is planned to go through the port in 2014.
The directive to increase the passing capacity of border crossings and the Aktau port, and to simplify export and import procedures was issued by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his most recent state-of-the-nation address.