The investment decision resulted from a feasibility study revealing significant potential for transshipment of fertilizers from landlocked Central Asian countries to western markets via Azerbaijan. Three resource-rich states of Central Asia – Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – have production capacity for various fertilizers, including urea, sulfur, and potassium carbonate that exceeds 6.6 million tpy. All three countries have invested heavily in constructing fertilizer production facilities to increase potential export volumes. A recently inaugurated Garabogaz Fertilizer Plant, located on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan, can alone produce 1.2 million tpy of urea, of which more than 90% is for export.
“The volume of Central Asian – primarily Turkmen – fertilizers transshipped via the Port of Baku has increased more than 13-fold between 2018 and 2020, from 48 339 tonnes to 630 000 tonnes,” said Taleh Ziyadov, Director-General of Port of Baku. “And the trend is accelerating. In the first 5 months of 2021, we handled more than 450 000 tonnes of fertilizers, signifying the reliability of the transit corridor via Azerbaijan. A new terminal will ensure reliability in Central Asia’s fertilizer supply chain and allow us to increase volume from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan,” added Ziyadov.
The Port of Baku’s new fertilizer terminal will have the capacity to handle 2.5 million tpy. The facility will have two warehouses with a total capacity of 60 000 t, and state-of-the-art conveyor systems to unload the various types of fertilizers directly to warehouses or into wagons/rail hoppers at a newly designed wagon loading station. The port authority plans to lease the terminal operation through a long-term concession and is currently in negotiations with potential bidders.