Baku-Tbilisi- Kars project's coordinating board approves 2010 budget
Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan. 30 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
The 8th meeting of the Baku-Tbilisi- Kars Project's Coordinating Council approved the 2010 budget. This budget will amount to 100 million, Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov told journalists after the meeting.
"The Azerbaijani Oil Fund will allocate $ 80 million manat ($ 100 million) for realization of this project," he said.
He also said that in general, Azerbaijan allocates $200 million and if the current budget would require an additional amount, Azerbaijan is ready to discuss this issue.
"In addition to financial matters, we also discussed technical issues," he said adding that they expect the construction work to be completed by 2011. "In 2012 we will be able to go on the road to Europe."
He stressed that at the beginning of the project there were recorded some objective difficulties, but now all was set up and everything goes under the plan.
So far, Georgia has completed 30-35 percent of works, Georgian Economy Minister Zurab Pololikashvili told journalists. "Of course this railway is important for development of the region and we make every effort to implement the project, whose importance is difficult to overestimate," he added.
The total project cost is estimated at about $400 million. Azerbaijan has allocated a loan of $200 million to Georgia for the construction of the project.
A new 105-kilometer-branch of railway is planned to be constructed within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project; 76 kilometers will stretch through Turkey and 29 kilometers through Georgia. Moreover, a 183-kilometer section of railways - Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi - will be reconstructed in Georgia to increase capacity to up to 15 million tons of freight per year. A train transition station, changing trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to European tracks is planned to be constructed in Akhalkalaki.
Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at: [email protected]