Feasibility study of Uzen-Gizilgaya-Bereket-Etrek-Gorgan railway project developed

Kazakhstan, Astana, Feb. 17 / Trend , K.Konirova/

Feasibility study of the Uzen-Gizilgaya-Bereket-Etrek-Gorgan railway project has been developed and is under examinations at the moment, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov said on Feb. 17 while answering Member of Parliament Zeynulla Alshimbayev's question concerning delay of the project.

"At present feasibility study of the project has been developed and is under examinations at the economy and budget planning ministry and Kazakh Centre for State-private partnership, which will finish in April 2009," the prime minister said.

In this regard, mechanism and a finance source of the project will be specified after improving feasibility study and examining the issue by the country's budget commission.

"As to implementing the project by funds of the National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazina Joint Stock Company, at present the Fund's finance has been directed to realize the government's anti-crisis measures at a medium term period," Masimov said.

The prime minister stressed that the government will take all measures to fulfill obligations undertaken as part of the Intergovernmental agreement on the project.

The Presidents of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran inked a declaration to construct Uzen-Gizilgaya-Bereket-Etrek-Gorgan railway section in Tehran on Oct. 16 in 2007.

Governments of three countries signed an agreement in Bereket on Dec. 1 in 2007 to implement the declaration. Construction of the Uzen-Gizilgaya-Bereket-Etrek-Gorgan railway section is explained with necessity efficiently to use Kazakhstan's geographical state through increasing transit potential.

However, despite the signed abovementioned documents, so far a financial source of the project has not been yet determined," Alshimbayev said.

The governmental bodies offer different versions of construction, including on concession base.

"In the case of realizing the project on concession base taking into consideration procedures of determining concessionaire set by the Kazakh government, October 2009 is a real term to begin construction and late 2012 - to finish it. In this case, failure of the fixed term to put into exploitation the section makes up almost one and a half year, he said," Alshimbayev said during his speech at the parliament on Jan. 14 in 2009.

Alshimbayev said that Turkmenistan began to build railway section in its territory in December 2007 and it is planned to finish the construction on a date fixed in the agreement. Length of the section in the Iranian territory makes up 70 km and Iran intends to launch the section on the agreed date.

"Therefore, possible failure of the term by Kazakhstan can damage prestige of the state at the international arena," Alshimbayev said.

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