Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia ink protocol within Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 25 / Trend /
Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia have signed a protocol during the first meeting of the Committee to supervise the construction of a new railway Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK), the Turkish Cihan reported.
Protocol has been signed by Turkish Transport and Communications Minister Binali Yildirim, Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov and Georgian Economy Minister Lasha Zhvania.
Azerbaijani Transport Minister said that the project is not only an economic but also political of great strategic importance. Roughly one million passengers and 6.5 tons of cargo are expected to be transported via the communication in the first stage. The project will be commenced in 2011.
The final paper between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey on the construction of the BTK railway was signed in Tbilisi in February 2007. Azerbaijan has provided soft loan in the amount of $200 million for a period of 25 years under one percent annually to the Georgia Railway Marabda-Kartsahi to construct the Georgian Railway Ltd. A new road with a length of 29 km, point of service and maintenance on the border with Turkey, as well as an old road will be reconstructed through these means on the territory of Georgia. Project's total cost is more than $600 million
As part of the BTK project it is planned to build a new 105-kilometer branch railway line, 76 kilometers of which will be held on the territory of Turkey, 29 km - Georgia. In addition, 183 km of the Marabda-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi railway will be reconstructed in order to increase the capacity to 15 million tons of cargo a year. Also in Akhalkalaki is planned to build the item to move trains on existing tracks in Georgia to Europe.