Delays in construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway

Business Materials 7 August 2009 16:20 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, August 7 / Trend /

The implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway construction project delays because of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in August last year, and geological problems, ambassador of Georgia in Azerbaijan Nikolaz Natbiladze said on August 7.  

"Delays in project implementation are connected with war last year, moreover, there is a geological problem," said Natbiladze.

However, the chief engineer of Azerbaijan State Railway Department Gurban Nazirov recently said that works on the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which will connect Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, are carried out in accordance with the planned schedule. "Recently, our group of experts was in Georgia. Work is conducted in accordance with the schedule. There are no problems in the construction and financing," he said.

The Transport Ministry of Azerbaijan also stated formerly that works within this project are carried out in normal regime.

Within preferential loan, which Azerbaijan will provide for the construction of the Georgian stretch of the railway, the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has allocated 27.1 million manat, Head of SOFAZ Shahmar Movsumov said earlier.

Azerbaijan plans to allocate $200 million from SOFAZ to reconstruct the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Some $280,000 was allocated to maintain Marabda-Kars Railway LLC, which was provided to pay salaries and office expenses.

The first tranche of 20.7 million manats was granted in 2007. In 2008, SOFAZ allocated 5.3 million manat to finance the construction project of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in the Georgian territory.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project includes the construction of 105km-railway lines, with 76 kilometres section running via Turkey and 29 kilometres section via Georgia. Moreover, 183 kilometres section of Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway will be also reconstructed to improve the carrying capacity to 15million 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.