Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to be fully commissioned by late 2014
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 13 / Trend E. Ismailov
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be fully commissioned by the end of 2014, deputy head of JSC 'Azerbaijan Railways' Gurban Nazirov told reporters on Thursday.
"Currently, the works under the project are being conducted as scheduled, and the construction work are expected to be fully completed by the end of 2013. During 2014 we will hold starting-up and adjustment operations, solve organizational and administrative issues," Nazirov said.
A slight delay in the timing of the project Nazirov explained by the settlement of technical and administrative issues in the construction of the tunnel at the Georgian-Turkish border.
Azerbaijan provided a loan worth $775 million for construction of the Georgian section. Funding for this project from the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan is carried out in accordance with a presidential decree on the 'Implementation of measures within Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project' dated Feb.21, 2007. Some $431.3 million was allocated until January 2013 for financing the project.
It is planned to construct a new 105 kilometre branch railway as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the section of the Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway will be reconstructed in Georgia which will increase its capacity to 15 million tons of cargo per year. It is planned to build a centre in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing train tracks in Georgia to the European one.
Peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million tons of cargo. This figure will be at the level of one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo in the initial stages.
In the future, with completion of the Marmara project (construction of a tunnel under the Bosporus), Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will provide access to Europe.