2008 Budget of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Project Defined

Georgia, Tbilisi, 12 March / corr Trend N.Kirtzkhalia / 2008 budget of the project on Baku-Tbilisi- Kars railway construction has been defined in the amount of $107mln, Vakhtang Lezhava, the Geogrian deputy minister for economic development, said.

The approval of budget and discussion of other projects took place in Baku, in a meeting of coordinating council of the project.

With respect to the construction he said that at this stage they are waiting for the improvement of meteorological conditions and work will begin in the coming month [April]

The Azerbaijan Construction Service acts as contractor of the project. The company has allocated $24mln. The total budget of the contracts concluded with Azerbaijan Construction Service is $79mln. Construction is expected to be complete by 1 October 2009, he said.

Azerbaijan finances the construction and project in Georgia, in the amount of $200mln.

The Akhalkalaki-Marabda railway of the third category, with the 1,520mm junction, will enable to improve the carrying capacity to 15mln tons of cargo per year on both the directions. The project also envisages energy supply to this section, establishment of appropriate communications systems, including the construction of fibre-optic cable and its connection to the general fibre-optic system of the Georgian railways, as well as projection of the relevant infrastructure required for providing passenger and cargo deliveries.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Akhalkalaki-Kars project includes the construction of a 105 km railway road, with 76 km section running via Turkey and 29 km section via Georgia. Moreover, the 183 km section of the Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway will also be reconstructed to improve the carrying capacity to 15mln tons of cargo per year. There are plans to build in Akhalkalaki a place for the transition of trains from the track existing in Georgia to the European track. The project is estimated at $422mln and taking into consideration the accompanying infrastructure, its cost will total $600mln.

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