Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia sign Trans-Caspian International Transport Route protocol
President of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) Kanat Alpysbayev said Kazakhstan plans to export more than 450,000 tonnes of gas and oil using the new Kuryk port through Azerbaijan and Georgia before the end of the year. Officials are also discussing opportunities to transport transit cargo, such as raw sugar up to 150,000-200,000 tonnes, to Uzbekistan before the end of the year through the Kuryk Port, according to the KTZ press office.
The TITR was established to provide transport connections between the East and West of Eurasia, transporting goods from China through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia to Europe via Turkey and Ukraine. The association aims to attract transit and foreign trade cargo, focusing on the development of integrated logistics products.
The first test container train arrived in the Baku International Sea Trade Port from China using the route in August 2015. The first cargo arrived to Baku International Sea Trade Port from Kazakh Kuryk port March 25. In January 2016, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine decided to apply competitive tariffs for cargo transportation via the route.
In October 2016, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed an agreement to establish the TITR Association with its office in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
In February, heads of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and O’zbekiston temir yo’llari (Uzbek railways) discussed the opportunities of an Uzbek export and import operation using the Kazakh ports of Aktau and Kuryk and the Trans-Caspian international transport route.
In October 2016, Poland’s railway operator PKP LHS became a member of the Coordination Committee of the TITR.
Kazakhstan, China to launch China-to-Europe container train route through Kazakhstan
The sides also agreed to launch the Astana-Altynkol high-speed passenger train in May using Tulpar-Talgo LLP railway carriages. This is a project within the EXPO2017 international exhibition in Astana.
The sides also discussed bilateral rail cooperation within the Nurly Zhol programme and the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative.
China has developed a five-year plan for the development of international container transport between China and Europe.
The volume of container shipments from China to Europe was104,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2016,twice as much as 2015. By 2020, volume is expected to increase to 800,000 TEUs.
The results of the operational work of Kazakh and Chinese railways for 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 were considered at the meeting. Last year, the volume of transport between Kazakhstan and China was more than 8 million tonnes of cargo, which is 16.6 percent more than in 2015. In 2017, more than 10 million tonnes of cargo are planned to be transported through the railway border crossings of the two states.
Alpysbayev informed the Chinese side on measures to reorient container cargo flows from the interstate point of the Alashankou – Dostyk to Khorgos – Altynkol with processing at the Dry Port of the Khorgos – Eastern Gate Special Economic Zone (SEZ).