Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.9
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
Turkey offered Azerbaijan to establish a joint venture (JV) to organize and improve maritime transport on the Caspian Sea, the Turkish news agency Denizhaber said Jan.9 with reference to the Minister of Transport, Shipping and Communications of Turkey Elvan Lutfi.
The minister expressed confidence that the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) will lead to an increase and intensification in maritime traffic on the Caspian Sea.
"This issue (cooperation in the field of systematization of traffic on the Caspian Sea) is subject to negotiations with Azerbaijan, and we are ready to create a joint venture in which we can act as a shareholder," said Elvan.
Commissioning of the BTK railroad will contribute to the increase in the volume of freight traffic between Europe and Asia. The project will be fully commissioned by the end of 2015.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president's decree 'On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities' dated February 21, 2007.
Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India show interest for this project.
The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.
The Minister of Transport of Azerbaijan Ziya Mammadov said earlier that after the third year of operation, the projected volume of cargo within the framework of this railway line will amount to 3 million metric tons, after the fifth year - 5 million metric tons or more, and after 10 years of operation the traffic volumes will exceed 10 million metric tons.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Emilsmail