Russia’s Stroytransgaz will be responsible for managing the Syrian port of Tartus as a part of a contract to lease it to Russia for 49 years, Syria’s Transport Minister Ali Hammod revealed during an interview with the al-Watan newspaper.
Hammod said that Stroytransgaz will invest $500 million in the development of the aging port, which is also hosting a base of the Russian Navy. The development project will include the construction of an entire new port north of the old wharfs. The depth of the port will be also increased from 4-13 meters down to 19 meters. This would allow the port to host bigger commercial ships and military vessels, such as Kirov-class nuclear battlecruisers.
“The new port will be constructed in accordance with the latest international standards and measures and with the highest level of modern technology and advanced administrative systems, which will reduce many expenses,” Hammod said in the interview, which was released on April 24.
Stroytransgaz, which was established in 1990, is involved in the engineering and construction of pipeline systems, oil and gas production facilities, underground gas storages, power stations, as well as civil and industrial structures and facilities. In addition to Russia, the company is active in Turkey, India, Algeria, Germany and Greece.
The Russian company is involved in the construction of the Arab Gas Pipeline, the Taweelah–Fujairah gas pipeline and the Central Asia–China gas pipeline.
The Tartus port contract was first announced by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov on April 20. The official hoped that the port will be in use by Russian businesses soon.
The Syrian transport minister said that the Russian investment in the port will significantly increase its efficiency by allowing it to host up to 2 million shipping container annually, instated of the currently rate, which is limited to 20,000 containers. This will for sure boost the shipping sector in Syria and benefit the country’s struggling economy.