Today Ministry of Transport of Azerbaijan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a credit agreement under the project for reconstruction of two last sections of the highway Yevlakh-Ganja and Gazah-Georgian border. The agreement signed Transport Minister Ziya Mamedov and head of AFBs Baku representation Matthew Westfall, Trend reports.
Mamedov, speaking of the banks credit in $52mln, said such event shows the development of both infrastructure and economy as whole.
Construction of 8.8km long first section along Yevlakh-Ganja highway is estimated in $58.7mln, from which $10.4mln are allotted by Islamic Development Bank, $11mln by Saudi Development Fund, $24mln by ADB and $13.3mln by Azeri government itself. Constriction of 38.8km long section of road Gazah-Georgian border is estimated in $30mln, financed by $28mln ADBs credit and $2mln Azeri governments contribution.
Minister said ADBs credit consist of two parts, purposed for road reconstruction and provision of border facilities. First component uses $49mln credit with 4-year preferential
period and rate libor+0.08% annual interest, and second the $3mln preferential credit from Asian Development Fund issued for 32 years with 8-year preferential period and preferential rate 1% and normal rate 1.5% annual interest.
The project stipulates upgrade of 127km long roads and adjoining 77km of roads (39km long highway around Yevlakh and Ganja, as well a 38km long highway from Gazah to Red Bridge). It covers 6 areas with 700k population, from which 37% lived in poverty in 2003. This area also hosts 87k refugees and forced migrants depending on governmental aid. Minister said construction operations are starting this year to complete them within 18 months.
ADBs representative said these are the first investments in the countrys transport sector. Upgrade of transport corridor includes 4 stages. First stage constitutes reconstruction of dual highways along these sections with total length 127km and second reconstruction of 77km of internal roads. Third stage suggests support and regulatory upgrade in management and reforms in motor transport sphere. And the last component envisages simplification of transit through Azeri-Georgian border (through Red Bridge). Mr Westfall considers this project very important both for opening new workplaces and improvement of conditions for access to education, health protection and other services.