Head of Azerbaijan Railways: Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway’s construction continues according to schedule

Business Materials 12 October 2013 17:24 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 12 /Trend A.Akhundov/

Works on completion of construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway's junction continue according to the schedule, Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways LTD, Arif Askerov said.

"The first and second phases of railway's construction have already been completed, and at the moment works are being carried out as part of the third phase. The construction of a 4.3 km long tunnel between Georgia and Turkey is also continuing," Askerov said.

He went on to add that the works on the Turkish section of the railway have been completed at a distance of 2.2 km, and excavation works are being conducted on railway's Georgian section at a distance of 200 meters.

The railway will be commissioned in 2014, Askerov said.

Azerbaijan has allocated a $775 million preferential loan to Georgia for the construction and reconstruction of the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

Tranche A, worth $200 million, has been allocated for 25 years at one per cent rate annually (has been covering works on project since 2007), and tranche B, worth $575 million has been allocated for 25 years at five per cent rate annually.

The need in allocation of tranche B was due to the increase in prices of construction and raw materials, revaluation of Marabda-Kartsakhi branch railway's current condition, conducting works in unfavourable weather conditions and others.

It is expected that annually 30 million tons of cargos will be transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which will have a direct access to the European railway network.

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will increase the flow of containerized, bulked and other types of cargos from Asia to Europe. The realization of the Marmaris project on construction of a tunnel under Bosporus strait will be completed by this time. This will allow establishing a railway communication with Europe.