Baku, Azerbaijan, May 19
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
In regard to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, there have been a lot of obstacles to the project because of the Armenian diaspora and the ongoing situation in that regard, Javid Gurbanov, chairman of Azerbaijan Railways, said in an interview with The Business Year.
"There was an outcry that this BTK project leaves out Armenia, while we, an Azerbaijani company, started building this railway," Gurbanov said. "With regards to the project's technical updates and specifications, we have almost completed 183km of the railway in Georgia."
"There are only some minor details that we need to finalize," he said. "Initially, this railway will handle five million tons of cargo and in the future the capacity will reach up to 17 million tons. The Georgian part of the project will be completed by the end of 2016. After the completion of the Georgian portion, the only part left to complete will be in Turkey."
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
Azerbaijan has allocated $775 million worth loan for the construction of the railway's Georgian section. 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 planned to be constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project.