Baku-Tbilisi-Kars to be finally commissioned before November 2016 (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 17:54)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 13
By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway route will be finally commissioned in November 2016, Javid Gurbanov, head of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, said Oct. 13, at the international conference titled 'Prospects of Development of Transit Potential of Azerbaijan'.
"Construction work on the BTK will be fully completed in 2016," he said. "We plan to start cargo transportation by late 2015, and it is planned to complete work on the electrification of railway and the creation of other railway infrastructure during the next year."
The timing of the work depends not only on Azerbaijan, but also other participants of the project, according to Gurbanov.
"In particular, Turkey should have built 75-kilometer stretch of road, but to date, even the laying the so-called upper part of the railway line hasn't been completed," he said.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president's decree 'On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities' dated February 21, 2007. SOFAZ has allocated two loans totaling $775 million for the construction of the Georgian section.
A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia that will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. A depot is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.
Edited by CN
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