Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.17
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
All the technical work on the creation of railway lines to the Georgian-Turkish border will be completed before the end of September within the framework of the project of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway construction, Deputy Transport Minister Musa Panahov told reporters Sept.17.
He added that a train will be commissioned to the border with Turkey in the coming months, which will facilitate the conduct of any technical work on that section.
Also, work for the construction of the 4 km tunnel at the Georgian-Turkish border will be completed by the middle of the next year, Panahov said. Some 80 percent of the work for the construction of the tunnel has already been completed.
"Work on the territory of Turkey also continues and will be completed by the next year," he added.
He noted that the project work is carried out in terms of schedule. The Deputy Minister expressed confidence that the commissioning of a new railway will take place in 2015.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish inter-state agreement.
Azerbaijan has allocated a loan worth $775 million for construction of the railway's Georgian section. Azerbaijan's State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) carries out the funding of the project in accordance with the decree of Azerbaijani president 'On the implementation of the project activities of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars' dated February 21, 2007.
It is planned to construct a new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section will be reconstructed in Georgia, which will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. It is planned to build a post in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. This figure will be at the level of 1 million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo at the initial stage.