Chinese groups to acquire stake in Khorgos Dry Port

COSCO Shipping, Lianyungang Port Holdings Group and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) signed an agreement on transfer of shares in the dry port in Khorgos Eastern Gates

Chinese groups to acquire stake in Khorgos Dry Port

On May 15th, the three-party share transfer agreement on the dry port in Khorgos eastern gates was officially signed in Beijing among China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, Lianyungang Port Holdings Group Co., Ltd. (LPH) and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), the national railway company of Kazakhstan. According to the agreement, COSCO Shipping and  LPH will jointly acquire a 49 per cent stake of the dry port in Khorgos eastern gates which was originally owned by KTZ. After acquisition, COSCO Shipping and LPH will take respectively 24.5 per cent of the shares.

The dry port in Khorgos eastern gates is located in KhorgosEastern Gates Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which is around 15 kilometers away from Khorgos port in China. With a favorable location, it takes five days to Lianyungang and nine to ten days to Europe by rail transportation. The dry port links western Europe and China by railway and highway. It provides services such as transit of container by freight trains, logistics, multimodal transport, warehousing and storage. It is an important logistics point that connects Kazakhstan’s “Nurly Zhol”–“the path to the future” policy with the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

The dry port in Khorgos eastern gates is the first project involving foreign railway resources investment ever since the establishment of COSCO Shipping and is also the second project between China and Kazakhstan in logistics after the Lianyungang logistics base, marking a milestone in advancing the Belt and Road Initiative. The agreement shows a major progress in enhancing Sino-Kazakhstan logistics cooperation from land bridge transport to international land-sea combined transport and global logistics chain. It will boost the economic and trade development between China and Kazakhstan as well as the two countries’ relations.

Meanwhile, it opens up a new way for goods from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries to be shipped overseas through the port in East China and serves as an important logistics center linking trade routes along the Belt and Road. COSCO Shipping will take advantage of the strong network of container shipping and sea-rail combined transport services of COSCO Shipping Lines, coordinated with other services sectors like logistics,, in order to build a cross-border sea-rail combined transport corridor together with Lianyungang Port, thus making the dry port in Khorgos eastern gates an important hub for Central Asia and Central Europe land bridge services.