ADB postpones consideration of loan for North-South railway project
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 25
By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:
Asian Development Bank has postponed consideration of a $400 million loan for the International North-South Transport Corridor as well as for development of Azerbaijan’s railway sector, said a message posted on the ADB website Sept. 25.
Initially, the loan’s consideration was planned for Sept. 22, but it has been postponed until Oct. 2.
An ADB mission conducted assessment of the work within the Azerbaijan Railway Sector Development Program on Aug. 28-Sept. 8. Loan approval date hasn’t been set yet.
Funds will be allocated in two tranches of $300 million and $100 million, respectively.
Technical assistance in the amount of $1 million will be provided as well.
The government of Azerbaijan is endeavoring to transform Azerbaijan Railways (ADY) into a profitable company and to improve railway service delivery. It has requested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance railway sector and corporate reforms and ADY financial restructuring, and improvements to railway infrastructure, particularly along the North-South railway corridor. This program preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) will prepare a comprehensive policy matrix for the policy-based loan covering institutional and operational changes at ADY, financial restructuring at ADY, and other policy areas as needed in full consultation with all key railway stakeholders; a feasibility study for repair and rehabilitation of the double-track section between Baku and Yalama (border with Russia); and ADB loan processing documents, including a sector assessment; technical, economic, and financial appraisals; environmental, social, and poverty impact assessments; procurement preparation and project implementation arrangements.
The International North-South Transport Corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. The corridor is planned to transport 5 million tons of cargo per year at the initial stage and over 10 million tons of cargo per year in the future.
ADB was founded in 1966 and 67 states are its members. The bank’s headquarters is located in Manila, Philippines. Azerbaijan became an ADB member on Dec. 22, 1999.