Georgia, Tbilisi / Trend corr. N.Kirtskhalia / The foundation ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be held in Marabda ( South Georgia) on 21 November. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway connects the transport systems of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, the Georgian Presidential Administration reported.
The Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is expected to attend the ceremony. The Turkish President Abdullah Gul will arrive in Georgia. The Georgian President Michael Saakashvili will go to Marabda on 21 November.
The Azerbaijani company Azerinshat Service will construct the Georgian part of the railway.
The Baku- Tbilisi-Akhalkalaki- Kars project includes the construction of a 105km railway line with a 76 km section running via Turkey and a 29 km section via Georgia. Moreover, the 183 km section of the Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway will be also reconstructed to improve the carrying capacity to 15mln tons of cargo per year. There are plans to build in Akhalkalaki a place for the trains to switch from the track existing in Georgia to the European track.
The project is estimated to $422mln and taking into consideration the accompanying infrastructure its cost will comprise $600mln. Azerbaijan allocated a $200mln loan for the Marabda-Kartzakhi Railway over 25 years with a 1% interest rate. The loan will be repaid with funds received from the use of the railway.
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed the final document on construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in February.