ALAT Free Economic Zone

Project: ALAT Free Economic Zone
Completion Date: 2023
Client: Alat Free Economic Zone
Project Value: Confidential
Services Provided: Masterplanning, Civil & Structural Engineering, Economic Development
Project Size: 8,500,000m²

Project Description

The Alat Free Economic Zone (AFEZ) is Azerbaijan’s first dedicated export value added and Manufacturing Zone. The Government’s Vision is that by 2030 the new AFEZ will have become the leading Regional Investment Hub in Eurasia and reduce its dependence on the production of fossil fuels.

As part of a plan to rejuvenate the City of Baku, the existing port was relocated to Alat, approximately an hour’s drive outside the City. This allowed for a spectacular waterfront corniche development to transform a derelict area of the City. Consequently, there was ample undeveloped land surrounding the new port which made a Free Zone possible.   When the Port was moved to Alat, the Port Authority was tasked to establish the Free Economic Zone. In the following five years no progress was made to deliver the project. Consequently, the President of Azerbaijan, appointed the retiring speaker of the House of Parliament to Chair a newly established Alat Free Economic Zone Authority.  We were invited to bid for the project based on our experience in the development of similar zones internationally.

GARLAND were initially appointed in 2019 to prepare a Masterplan for the 850Ha ALAT Free Economic Zone (FEZ) in May 2019 and detailed designs for the first 54Ha of infrastructure including a 9,900m2 headquarter building to accommodate the Free Zone Authority, Customs Authority, One Stop Shop and Services offices. The appointment included the administration of the construction project on site and the provision of a site-based supervision team.

 As well as the design aspect, GARLAND were also commissioned in late 2019 to assist the client in the establishment of the Free Zone Authority. At the time the authority consisted of the Chairman and his PA. 

The main elements of the project were as follows;

  • Stormwater network – 4,629m
  • Foulwater discharging to a new local authority SWTP – 2,570m
  • Potable water line – 7,743m
  • Gas line – 2,610m
  • Irrigation water line – 29,129m
  • Overpass bridge - 1 unit
  • Telecom – 84,163m
  • Area lighting – 21,928m
  • MV medium voltage line – 36,208m
  • LV low voltage line – 31,041m
  • Roads – 4,300m
  • Fence – 3,24m
  • Customs Plaza – 4 lanes in each direction, including express lanes and smart technologies
  • Micro tunnel under railway line - 117m
  • 9,000m2 HQ building. An exemplar design was prepared and awarded to the contractor on a design and build basis.

GARLAND lead a design team on the project which included Fewer Harrington & Partners (Architects), Lawler Consulting Engineers (Mechanical and Electrical Engineers) and Carron + Walsh  (Quantity Surveyors)  

GARLAND successfully delivered the Masterplan of this project in February 2020 and completed the schematic design in June 2020, on programme despite the COVID 19 restrictions. The project was completed in early 2023.  

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