The shipping sector of our country has been developing rapidly during recent years as a result of the continued attention and care provided by Mr Ilham Aliyev – the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. According to the head of state order, the national Shipping fleet is regularly updated with vessels that meet modern requirements with the objective of maintaining the leading position in the Caspian Sea, expanding its activities in foreign waters, and meeting the demand for increased transit cargoes from the territory of Azerbaijan.
As for now, Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping CJSC (ASCO) has placed order of construction of 10 vessels to Baku Shipyard LLC since 2014. Construction of nine of them, including one tow vessel, 3 passenger vessels, 2 Ro-Pax type vessels and 3 tankers have already been accomplished and the vessels have been put into operation.
Another important step has been taken towards updating the fleet in accordance with the Strategic Development Plan of the Shipping Company, which has been deemed acceptable from a conceptual point of view by the Supervisory Board of ASCO. Therefore, agreement on the construction of another Ro-Pax type vesse for carrying passengers, cars and railway cars was signed between Mr Rauf Valiyev, Chairman of the Management Board of ASCO and Mr Elshad Nuriyev, Chairman of the Management Board of Baku Shipyard LLC.
At the execution ceremony it was mentioned that the new ferry vessel is the same type as “Azerbaijan” and “Zarifa Aliyeva” ferry vessels, which have already been accepted into the balance sheet of ASCO. It will also be possible to carry 100 passengers, 56 tank cars or 46 open-top wagon or 50 drawbar trailer trucks by the ferry vessel to be built.
The ferry-vessel will be 154.5 meters long, 17.7 meters wide and with board 7.5 meters high. With a deadweight of 5740 tons (afloat), this unique ferry-vessel will be able to move at speed of 14 knots. The permanent crew of the vessel shall be manned of 30 members.
The construction of this vessel is of great importance for ASCO, which is an important participant in freight transportation in the east-west direction and vice-versa through the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and has been operating as the only ferry operator in Caspian for many years, and for all participants of cargo transportation on the Trans-Caspian Corridor. The new vessel will enable ASCO to maintain the sustainability of its cargo transportation capacity, and meet the growing demand for the volumes of car and TIR carriages through the Caspian Sea. In its turn, this will contribute to the further development of current and prospective transport corridors passing through Azerbaijan.