Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 12
Details added, first version posted on 11:14.
The implementation of the North-South railway corridor project will reduce the cargo delivery period via various important routes twofold-threefold, Javid Gurbanov, the head of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, said at the "North-South international transport corridor: new directions, development and prospects" forum.
The corridor will allow turning Azerbaijan into a major transport hub, using its geographical position, increasing the turnover, said Gurbanov.
"The turnover of goods between India and the EU is 25.5 million tons of cargo a year, and delivery can take up to 60 days. With the launch of the North-South Corridor through Azerbaijan, the delivery period will be reduced to 14-20 days, that is, twofold-threefold", Gurbanov said.
Negotiations are underway with the Iranian side, and a protocol was signed last year, he noted.
"The railway, we are going to build, will connect the Persian Gulf to the Baltic Sea. This is a new product for logistics companies that can deliver cargo both from Astara and Amirabad through Azerbaijan and the Black Sea to Ukraine and Europe, which is beneficial in terms of distance and period. After the removal of sanctions from Iran the trade turnover with the EU will increase significantly, and we can use both sea and railway transport for cargo transportation," Gurbanov said.
The North-South Corridor, originating in India and stretching to Helsinki, is one of the most important routes for Azerbaijan.
The corridor stretches for about 5,000 kilometers, including through Azerbaijan's territory. The annual capacity of the transit of goods from Iran to Russia via Azerbaijan is about 10 million tons. The same figure between Europe and India is about 25 million tons.
Most of the cargo is transported by sea, which takes 45 to 60 days. Therefore, the transshipment through Azerbaijan is more acceptable and this route is the most optimal.
The North-South railway will link Northern Europe with South-Eastern Asia. It will serve as a link between the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.
The railway's capacity will be 1.4 million passengers and 5-7 million tons of cargo per year, according to the preliminary estimates. Moreover, 22 tunnels and 15 bridges will be built along the railway.