ADB prepares to approve new multitranche package for road construction in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 27 September 2012 18:45 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 27 /Trend I.Khalilova/

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to approve the first tranche within the new multitranche financing (MFF) for road construction in Azerbaijan by late 2012, ADB Baku office told Trend on Wednesday.

"Perhaps, the first tranche worth $ 200-250 million will be approved by the ADB Board of Directors at the beginning of the fourth quarter," the office said.

This will be the second multitranche package for the construction of highways. Its total volume, like the first MFF, is expected to reach $ 500 million.

According to the Azerbaijani government, the funds from the second multi-transh funding are envisaged to complete construction of the Baku-Iran border highway, particularly of Alat-Masalli road.

This project provides the reconstruction of the 62-kilometer stretch of highway Alat-Masalli.
Given the international importance of this road, the Asian Development Bank plans to accelerate the process of reaching agreement with the Azerbaijani government on the issue of road projects funding.

ADB office said that the preliminary talks have been held.

Alat-Astara road is an important component of two major international transport projects - the North-South and West-East. It is located on the transport route Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran, which is an important part of the corridor North-South. On the other hand, this road will provide Iran access to a resurgent Great Silk Road that is, the corridor East-West.

Part of the road Alat-Astara (Alat-Masalli) with length of 112 kilometers is already under construction through a loan from the World Bank and the Azerbaijani government.

Official opening of the section 1A (0-9 km) of Alat-Masalli road, which construction began in 2009 and carried out by Azerinsaatservis, will be held in December 2011.

The rest of the road (Masalli-Astara) is also constructed at the expense of the Asian Development Bank.

Some $400 million from the first ADB multitranche package for the construction of roads in the amount of $ 500 million has already been allocated to build Masalli - Astara road.
Azerbaijan has been a member of the ADB since 1999. The ADB's active credit portfolio reaches $680 million. The bank has allocated grants amounting to $13.122 million to the Azerbaijan government and local companies during the period of cooperation.

ADB was established in 1966 and has 67 members. The headquarters of the bank is located in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Azerbaijan became a member of the Asian Development Bank on December 22, 1999. The country's participation share in the bank's capital is 0.5 per cent.

Japan and the US (31.2 per cent of the total share capital), India and China (12.8 percent), Australia, South Korea and Canada (16 percent) are the ADB leading shareholders.