Iran sanctions lift-off: 'India-Kazakh transport corridor can become operational'

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 18, 2016

A multimodal freight link between Kazakhstan and India through Iran can “technically” be operational once sanctions on the Islamic Republic is formally off.

Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India, Bulat Sarsenbayev, said here at the MCC Chamber of Commerce & Industry that the rail link until the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas was already established.

However, he said, there were certain bottlenecks that needed to be removed.

“Kazakhstan railway authorities have given mandate to Adanis to work for two terminals at Mundra and Bandar Abbas. They are now doing the due diligence on the proposed projects”, Kazakhstan Ambassador said.

He said that Kazakhstan might consider buying or having on lease rent such assets. Sarsenbayev said that the rail link could currently carry two to three million tonnes of freight annually. “This capacity is proposed to be upgraded to eight to 10 million tonnes. Regular freight movement would also require finding solution to the problem of railway line gauge differential, existing between Kazakhtan and Iran.

Uranium supply

The Ambassador said that Kazakhstan was likely to resume supply of uranium to India this year. Both the countries last year signed a five-year (2015-2019) contract for supply of 5000 tonnes of uranium.

He said certain “paper work” was yet to be completed to resume supply. “We hope to restart it this year,” he added. Under the first contract, which expired in 2014, Kazakhstan had supplied 2,100 tonnes of uranium to India and emerged as one of the major suppliers.

Defence equipment

Kazakhstan Ambassador said his country was looking for joint venture partners in India in “upgrading” the erstwhile ‘Soviet’ defence equipment. “India has successfully upgraded some of such equipment. We also need to do that. Such joint ventures could take up the upgradation work in Kazakhstan,” he explained.

Published on January 18, 2016
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