Iran is building its longest cross-sea bridge, linking the Qeshm island in the Persian Gulf to its coast in Bandar Abbas to join a transit corridor which stretches all the way up to the Caspian Sea and the Central Asia.
The Persian Gulf Bridge, being constructed for a length of 2.4 kilometers and a width of 32 meters, includes a two-lane causeway and a rail line, secretary of Iran’s free trade zones Akbar Torkan said.
It is reportedly being built by an Iranian company at a cost of 450 million euros. Torkan said construction, however, is being held up by Sepah Bank’s failure to provide finance.
He said the project is vital to economic and industrial development of Qeshm which is Iran’s biggest island. The rail section will be used to ship 7 million metric tons of iron ore a year to produce 3.5 million tons of steel on the island.
The idea to link Qeshm to Iran’s southern shores with a bridge dates back to 1972 but it didn’t materialize until after the Islamic Revolution.
The project, however, was halted at the order of the former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who proposed to build a subsea tunnel instead of a bridge. That proposal was finally rejected because of high costs, much advanced technology and risks involved.
Torkan said the Persian Gulf Bridge will connect Qeshm to the main transit corridor linking the Caspian port of Anzali to Bandar Abbas and Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman.
The official touched on UAE’s investment in the Kazakh port of Aktau, saying the Iranian transit corridor will play a strategic role in boosting regional trade.
An Emirati delegation visited Bandar Anzali, Qeshm and Chabahar this week to assess trade capacities. Iranian officials said DP World, one of the largest port operators in the world, was weighing investments of up to $1 billion in Iran.
DP World chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem said his country would not wait for a comprehensive nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group in order to expand economic relations with Iran.
By Press TV