Istanbul, Turkey, Dec.7
By Abbas Akhundov - Trend:
With the commissioning of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, the volume of cargo transportation from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan will dramatically increase, president of Kazakhstan Railways JSC Askar Mamin told Trend.
"This will be a direct corridor through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey connecting Kazakhstan with South Europe," Mamin said.
Currently, nearly 6.5 million tons of cargo is transported from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan per year, according to Mamin.
"I am confident that this corridor has a great potential. Now it is difficult to speak about the figures, but with the commissioning of BTK, the potential of this corridor will dramatically increase," Mamin said.
It is planned to commission the BTK railway in 2014.
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 in the amount of $200 million has been allocated for a period of 25 years at one percent per annum (has been covering work on the project since 2007) and tranche B in the amount of $ 575 million has been allocated for 25 years at five percent per annum.
The necessity for allocation of tranche B was connected with the increase of world prices for construction and raw materials, reevaluation of the current status of Marabda-Kartsakhi railway branch, conducting operations in unfavourable weather conditions, as well as complexity of the terrain on the border between Georgia and Turkey.
As it is expected, 30 million tons of cargo per year will be transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars highway, which will have a direct way to the European railway network.
BTK will give opportunity to increase the flow of container, bulk and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe.