Work on construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to be accelerated
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 18 /Trend E.Ismayilov/
Ministers of Transport of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed the final report of the fourth meeting of the Trilateral Coordination Council for the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) rail construction project in Baku.
The protocol involves accelerating the project's work. It is planned to complete construction of the section on the Georgian-Turkish border in 2012. Commissioning of the road is scheduled for 2014.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars transport corridor project includes the construction of the railway branch Kars-Akhalkalaki with a length of 98 km, of which 68 km is in Turkey and 30 km in Georgia.
A 183-kilometre section of the Akhalkalaki-Marabda- Tbilisi railway will be reconstructed within the project to increase the capacity to 15 million tons of cargo per year. It is planned to construct a centre in Akhalkalaki to transfer trains from the track existing in Georgia to the European one.
Azerbaijan has allocated a soft loan worth $775 million for Georgia to construct and reconstruct the Georgian section of the railway line.
A Tranche 'A' worth $ 200 million has been allocated for 25 years at one per cent per annum, including the work on the project since 2007. Tranche 'B' worth $ 575 million is for 25 years at five per cent per annum.
The need for allocating Tranche 'B' is associated with an increase in world prices on construction and raw materials and a revaluation of the current state of the Marabda-Kartsakhi railway branch as well as operations in adverse weather conditions.
It is expected that about 30 million tons of cargo per year will be transported through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway annually. The line will have a direct route to the European rail network.