Turkish minister: Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project to be completed in 2014
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 3 / Trend, E. Ismayilov /
The new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway construction project will be completed in 2014, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Traffic and Communication Binali Yildirim said at the first meeting of Transport Ministers of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking countries in Baku today.
According to him, the new line will not only connect the railway systems of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, but also ensure the transportation of goods from China and Central Asia to Europe.
"This project is very important not only for our countries but also in assuring the flow of goods from Asia to Europe," Yildirim added.
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, this will increase capacity to 15 million tons of cargo per year. It is planned to build a center in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from existing Georgian tracks to European ones.
It is expected that around 30 million tons of cargo a year will be transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway annually, which will have a direct way to the European rail network.
After the Marmara project (construction of a tunnel under the Bosporus) is completed in the future, a route to Europe via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will exist.
Azerbaijan delivered a loan worth $775 million for the construction of the Georgian section of the railway. The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan's funding for this project is being 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 for until January 2013 to finance the project.