Ilham Aliyev attended the ceremony of launching the “Zarifa Aliyeva” ferry boat

28 april 2022, 10:10
Ilham Aliyev attended the ceremony of launching the “Zarifa Aliyeva” ferry boat

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the ceremony of launching the “Zarifa Aliyeva” Ro-Pax-type ferry boat built at Baku Shipyard ordered by the Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Shipping Closed Joint-Stock Company (ASCO).

Chairman of the Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Shipping Closed Joint-Stock Company Rauf Valiyev informed the head of state of the “Zarifa Aliyeva” ferry boat.

It was noted that the ferry's design is the same as the Ro-Pax-type “Azerbaijan” ferry, which was commissioned early last year. The ferry, operated by a crew of 30, can carry 100 passengers, 56 tank cars or 50 trucks simultaneously. According to these indicators, the “Azerbaijan” and “Zarifa Aliyeva” ferries are superior to other ferries operating in the Caspian basin. Fitted with state-of-the-art equipment from the world's leading manufacturers, the ship has a cargo elevator, a helicopter pad, a ship stabilization system in undulating weather, and traction locomotives.

President Ilham Aliyev cut the ribbon symbolizing the commissioning of the ship.

The closure of the Suez Canal in March last year raised the issue of diversification of transportation corridors on the international agenda. Against the background of the current geopolitical turmoil, this issue has become particularly relevant. In this respect, the East-West-Trans-Caspian corridor looks particularly attractive, as Azerbaijan is also enhancing its infrastructure in response to new challenges.

The naming of the ferry “Zarifa Aliyeva” is an expression of Azerbaijani sailors' boundless respect for the memory of prominent scientist and doctor, Ph.D., Professor, Honored Scientist, Academician Zarifa Aliyeva. A corner on the ship is dedicated to the scientific research, achievements and benevolent attitude of academician Zarifa Aliyeva, describing her life and activity full of self-sacrifice. Photo and video information and books about Zarifa Aliyeva, a full member of the National Academy of Sciences and the first female laureate of the M. I. Averbakh Prize, are displayed in the area.

After getting acquainted with the ship, President Ilham Aliyev pressed the button to launch it.

The “Zarifa Aliyeva” ferry will make an essential contribution to unlocking the transit potential of the country, which has a favorable geographical position, and engage in transportation operations together with other ferries of ASCO, thus creating a vital link in the chain of cargo transportation on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route.

Today, ASCO’s fleet includes 13 ferries, two Ro-Ro and 1 Ro-Pax-type ship. Currently, ASCO is the only ferry operator in the Caspian Sea that provides carriage of railway wagons by sea. The fleet acts as a bridge in the Caspian Sea for both wagons and trucks, and all users of cargo on the Trans-Caspian corridor can benefit from this opportunity.

One of the crucial achievements of Azerbaijan in the field of shipping was the commissioning of the Baku Shipyard in 2013, which has enormous potential and is considered one of the most modern enterprises in the region. The commissioning of this plant has eliminated the dependence on imports for the production of ships in Azerbaijan. The establishment of such a plant in Azerbaijan has enabled the construction of all types of ships based on unique projects and new concepts, taking into account the distinctive features of the Caspian Sea and the technical capabilities of the existing port infrastructure in this basin. Ro-Pax-type vessels are similar in nature. The production of ships and ferries under the highest standards is an indicator of the strength of the Azerbaijani state in economic, industrial and technological terms. The plant is currently building two more tankers for the ASCO fleet.

A total of 24 ships have been commissioned to date as part of the Strategic Development Plan adopted by the Azerbaijan Caspian Sea Shipping CJSC in 2014. Azerbaijani ships also operate outside the Caspian Sea – in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. ASCO operates 13 vessels, including seven dry cargo ships and six tankers. The crews of ships representing the country and carrying the Azerbaijani flag in foreign waters are composed entirely of Azerbaijani sailors.