The Government of India has taken over the operation of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar, in Iran. The physical take-over of the terminal area, cargo handling equipment and office building was completed in late December and the first vessel, the Cyprus registered bulk carrier Macheras, arrived at Chabahar with 72458 tonnes of corn cargo on 30th December 2018. India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ) carried out its first cargo handling operation by discharging the imported cargo, which originated in Brazil, using pneumatic unloaders.
This is a historic step as it marks the first time India has operated a port outside its borders. Initial discussions with Iran over Chabahar port were held around 2003, but it was not until the second half of 2014 that momentum for this joint project started to gather pace, resulting in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries for the development of Chabahar in May 2015. A formal ten-year contract to equip and operate the port followed in May 2016, during Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to Tehran.