Georgian parliament ratifies agreement on new loan for Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway
Georgia, Tbilisi, May 31 / Trend N. Kirtskhaklia /
The Georgian Parliament has ratified an agreement to allocate Azerbaijan's credit to Georgia to construct the Marabda-Kartsakhi railway project "Baku-Tbilisi-Kars".
Azerbaijan has allocated $575 million to Georgia for 25 years at an interest rate of five percent additionally to construct the Georgian section of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. The allocated funds will be spent to construct and rehabilitate the railway section of Tetritskaro-Akhalkalaki, to construct the railway station in Akhalkalaki and another railway infrastructure.
This loan has been allocated to the Kartsakhi-Marabda company. It is not a public debt. This loan will be returned from the profit received as a result of the realization of the project after commissioning the railway.
The first tranche worth $200 million has been also allocated to the Georgian side for 25 years at an annual rate of one percent.
According to amendments made to an agreement which was signed between the Azerbaijani and Georgian governments with regard to work on funding, design, construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Marabda-border with Turkey (Kartsakhi) railway section, the total amount of credit line amounted to $775 million.
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the construction and rehabilitation of the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.
A new 105-kilometer railroad branch will be constructed as a part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway. About 76 kilometers will stretch via Turkey, 29 kilometers through Georgia. Moreover, an Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway section will be reconstructed in Georgia to increase transport capacity up to 15 million tons of cargo a year. A point of train transition from the existing train tracks in Georgia to the European one is planned to be built in Akhalkalaki.
Mammadov said earlier that the completion of construction work is planned for the first half of 2012. But, despite the agreed timeframe of the project, the sides are working to speed up the process and complete most of the works by the end of 2011.
The corridor's peak capacity will hit 17 million tons. Initially, its capacity will reach 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.