WB to review implementation of railway project in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 28 /Trend A.Akhundov/
Mission of the World Bank (WB), led by the head of the transport program for Azerbaijan Ben Gericke will arrive in Baku on April 7, Baku Office of the bank told Trend.
The mission will stay in the country until April 14.
"The purpose of the visit is to review the project promoting rail transit and trade in the country," the office said.
Loan Agreement between the Government and the World Bank was signed in December 2009. The total cost of the project promoting rail transit and trade amounted to $673.8 million, $450 million of which account for the World Bank loan. The project is part of the State program to improve the railway infrastructure of Azerbaijan (2008-2013) worth 1.2 billion manat.
The credit resources are allocated by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for a term of 23 years with a grace period of eight years at a cost - a six-month libor plus spread is changing. Commission on the loan, which will be paid by the borrower, was determined at the level of 0.25 percent. Payments on the loan will be made twice a year - 15 June and Dec.15.
The railway line along the Baku-Boyuk-Kesik section is planned to be reconstructed within the loan. The 300-kilometer railway section requires immediate repair and this will be completed in the first phase.
In general, the project envisages overhauling the 503-kilometer railway. The investments will be directed to a shift from direct to alternating current toward Baku-Boyuk-Kesik, and buying 50 new locomotives for operation on the alternating current. The WB office in Baku said the project envisages increasing the railway speed for passengers to 100 kilometers per hour and cargo to 80 kilometers per hour.
The project consists of three components. The first envisages rehabilitating the railway sector, namely the plot from Baku to the Georgian border, the transition from 3.3 kV DC to 25 kV AC, and replacing the signal system due to the transition to an electric power system.
The second component envisages the purchase of 50 electric locomotives and the third - aligning the railway department's activity with the requirements of a market economy.