Kazakhstan's state-owned oil company Kazmunaigas (KMG) announced on January 17 that it has agreed with the Abu Dhabi Ports Authority (ADPORTS) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a strategic partnership for marine transportation and port development in the Caspian Sea and Black Sea.
The agreement was signed in the capital city of Abu Dhabi on the occasion of the official visit of Kazakhstan's President Kassim Jomart Tokayev to the UAE. The two companies will establish a joint venture based in Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) through KMG's subsidiary Kazmortransflot (KMTF) and ADPORTS' subsidiary International Maritime Investments.
According to the document signed by KMTF and ADPORTS in December 2022, prior to the signing of this agreement, the joint venture will provide marine transportation services for offshore oil and gas field development projects in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea by signing a seven-year crude oil tanker operation pool agreement. KMTF will also consider expanding its fleet of feeder vessels for container transport and RO-RO vessels for dry cargo transport for the Trans-Caspian International Conveyance Route (TCICR) and the North-South International Conveyance Route in the Caspian Sea, where demand is expected to increase. KMTF holds a 49% stake and ADPORTS holds 51%.
ADPORTS, established in 2006, is a UAE holding company with global operations in port infrastructure, marine transportation, and oil field development, while KMTF is a state-owned shipping company with a modern fleet in Kazakhstan, mainly engaged in the marine transportation of oil in the Caspian and Black Sea.
The partnership agreement will allow the UAE, which has made the establishment of joint ventures in the Central Asian region a strategic priority, to expand its influence on oil field development and logistics in the Caspian Sea. On the other hand, Kazakhstan, which urgently needs to diversify export routes for oil and gas, hopes that ADPORTS' know-how and vessels will lead to infrastructure development and increased export opportunities. In addition, DP World, a major terminal operator in the UAE, is cooperating in the operation of the port of Aktau, Kazakhstan's main port on the Caspian Sea coast.
KMG Chairman Magzum Mirzagaliev said that the establishment of the joint venture with ADPORTS will contribute significantly to Kazakhstan's economic and infrastructure development by strengthening export capabilities in the Caspian and Black Sea and expanding the potential for the development of oil and gas fields.