Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Strategic Cooperation Project: Turkish Minister of Transport

Business Materials 14 July 2008 17:13 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey, Ankara, 14 July/ Trend , corr A. Aliyev/ About 1mln passengers and 6.5mln tons of cargo will be conveyed through Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in the first stage and this figure will go up to 3mln passengers and 17mln tons of cargo by 2034, Bineli Yildirim, minister of transport of Turkey said in his interview with Trend .

"This railway will unite Far East and Europe through Turkey. Therefore, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is the project of strategic economic and regional cooperation," Yildirim said.

The ceremonial inauguration of construction of the railway will be held in Kars (Turkey) on 24 July. The railway is expected to be launched in 2011, minister said.

Concerning joining Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic which is in blockade, to this transport corridor, Yildirim said that the preliminary studies on this project will begin soon.

Budget of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars for 2008 totals $107mln.

Azerinshaatservis, an Azerbaijani construction company, which won the tender for construction of the Georgian section of the railway, has already completed its preparations.

The total cost of the contract with Azerinshaatservis makes up $79mln. Construction is expected to be completed by 1 October 2009.

Financing for construction and design work in Georgia, is being carried out through the Azerbaijani credit of $200mln.

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

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