WB launches new road project in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 23 /Trend, I.Khalilova/

The WB manager on transport sector in European and Central Asian regions Henry Kerraly arrived in Baku on a two-day visit to review ongoing road projects in Azerbaijan and in connection with the beginning of a new project on reconstruction of the third highway, WB Baku Office said.

"A seminar will be conducted on beginning of a new project on reconstruction of the third highway," the office said.

The World Bank (WB) and the Azerbaijani Transport Ministry signed a loan agreement on a project to expand the Baku-Shamakhi-Mugan Highway from two to four lanes Aug. 11, 2010 in Baku.

The bank will allocate $241.6 million to finance the project in the form of mixed credits - $70 million will be funded by the WB International Development Association (IDA), and $171.6 million will be provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The remaining funds will be provided by the state. The total project cost is $356.15 million.

The IDA credit resources were allocated for a period of 20 years with a grace period of 10 years, and the IBRD funds were provided over 17 years with deferred payments in four years.

Baku-Shamakhi-Mugan is 122 kilometers in length. A total of 101 kilometers will be built within the project. The remaining section of the road has already been constructed.

Azerbaijan became a WB member in 1992. During this period, the bank has approved loans worth about $3 billion to finance 52 projects in Azerbaijan. The WB has expressed readiness to allocate more than $1 billion on commercial terms from the IBRD. The bank is interested to finance transport projects in Azerbaijan.

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