Tajikistan interested in cargo transportation via BTK railway
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 11
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
Tajikistan is interested in the cargo transportation via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, Tajikistan's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zohir Saidov told Trend.
"We want to benefit from Azerbaijan's transit opportunities, all the more so, Azerbaijan has large ports and Turkmenistan's Turkmenbashi port is also good," he said. "It is a very convenient route for us."
The ambassador added that Tajikistan's interest in the transportation of its cargoes via the BTK was also previously mentioned during the high-level bilateral meetings.
Saidov reminded that currently, Tajikistan transports around a million metric tons of cargo (primarily, alumina and aluminum produced at its aluminum plant) through Azerbaijan's territory per year.
He added that the opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will provide more convenient and quick transportation of cargo from Tajikistan.
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.
A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia that will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. A depot is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
It is planned to complete the implementation of the project in 2015.
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.
Edited by CN
Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova