Aktau Commercial Sea Port has become the first port in Kazakhstan to receive the Ports Environmental Assessment System (SEEP) certification and EcoPort status from the European Sea Ports Organization (EMPO), Board of the Aktau Port Chairman Abai Turikpenbaev said during his speech at the forum “Transit and Transport Co-operation between Kazakhstan and the European Union: Prospects for the Development of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route,” the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan said in a press release.
The certification was carried out as part of the EcoPorts project, a globally recognized standard for environmental management in ports and port terminals.
The OSCE EcoPorts project launched in 2019, is aimed at developing the infrastructure of maritime and transcontinental cargo transportation, simplifying customs procedures through the introduction of digitalization, and training and educating domestic specialists. The certificate provides an opportunity to expand relations with European ports to reduce the negative impact of ports on the environment, as well as to improve the environmental situation in the Caspian region. Corresponding work on passing green certification is also being carried out by the Port of Kuryk.
In light of the adaptation of trade routes and supply chains to the international political and economic situation, the demand for the services of Kazakhstani ports has increased sharply this year.
The total transshipment of goods in just the five months of 2022 in the Port of Aktau has already amounted to 97% of the total for the entirety of the previous year (2021) – 1.534 thousand tons in 5 months of 2022 compared to 1.594 thousand tons in all of 2021- and container transshipment increased by 115% (16,267 TEUs) compared to the same period in 2021.
In the Port of Kuryk, since the beginning of 2022, the volume of transshipment amounted to more than 70% of the same indicator for the whole of 2021- more than 700 thousand tons in the first five months of 2022 compared to 1 million tons for all of 2021.
Given the growing demand for terminal services, the Aktau port is currently creating a container hub designed to transform traffic flows in the Central Asian region. By the end of 2022, it is planned to attract two additional specialized container ships to the current 5 feeder ships in the direction of Aktau-Baku-Aktau.
A day before the conference, the Port of Antwerp hosted a technical visit by a delegation of the leaders of TITR (Trans-Caspian International Transport Route), TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) and several Kazakhstani ports. The Port of Antwerp is the major container port of Belgium and nicknamed “the gateway to Europe”; in the EU, it is second only after the nearby Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Following this visit, during the conference, discussions were held on the possibility for Kazakhstani port employees to participate in training courses on port infrastructure and management in Antwerp.