Caspian Sea low water levels a concern for Middle Corridor operations

09.17.2023

The Caspian Sea waters have reached critically low levels, a development that could be a reason for concern for Middle Corridor operations. The water depth has decreased by 7.1 per cent at the side of Kazakhstan, according to satellite images.

Kazakhstan’s National Space Agency, Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary, showed in July that the Caspian Sea is experiencing a significant drought impact, where part of its seabed is revealed, as the Astana Times reported. The decreasing water level in the Caspian Sea creates a shallow coastline, which might impact vessels operating in the Middle Corridor.

Different ships require various depths of water, which could cause certain vessels to be unable to anchor or sail in the area. For products transported across the Caspian Sea through rail-sea intermodal, this would pose another limitation.

State of emergency

The portal city Aktau had already experienced the impact a month earlier. On 8 June, the city of Aktau announced a state of emergency for 30 days due to the impact of the shrinking Caspian Sea. «There is a risk that there will be insufficient water supply to the city as the sea level drops,» Imammahmut Shagirbayev, deputy officer of Aktau, said.

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Source: Издательский дом Коммерсантъ