Georgia looking for new sources of bitumen imports
BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 10
By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:
The outbreak of coronavirus in Iran and the subsequent ban on all types of communications between Georgia and Iran have a negative impact on the import of bitumen into Georgia, Trend reports citing Georgian media.
Around 90 percent of the roads are laid using Iranian bitumen in Georgia.
According to the head of the Georgian-Iranian business association, Vano Mtvralalashvili, the main advantages of importing Iranian bitumen were the country's geographical proximity and low prices. Accordingly, now the country faces the need to establish ensure supplies from other countries, otherwise, road construction across the country will have to be stopped.
“Iraqi and Azerbaijani bitumen was also supplied to Georgia, but in any case, Iran was the main supplier. Bitumen is delivered from Iran by 24-ton trucks, which are able to quickly load goods. There is practically no such transport in Georgia, therefore this method of import was beneficial for both countries,” he noted.
According to him, thanks to this, the route of bitumen import from Iran was more competitive than others. But now, it is closed and Georgia will have to look for new sources.
“In general, there is no shortage of bitumen in the world, it can be purchased in different countries for example, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia. We need to look for alternative deliveries, since right now the season of active road construction begins, accordingly, bitumen is needed in large quantities,” said Mtvralashvili.
According to him, in general, imports from Iran were quite extensive, which included construction materials, ceramic tiles, chemicals, food.
“But all these products are not of strategic importance and they are easy to replace, but bitumen is a completely different matter. It is impossible to delay its import, as this may lead to the suspension of the implementation of infrastructure projects, ” said Mtvralashvili.
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