Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend K.Konirova, S.Babayeva / Azerbaijan has proposed that Kazakhstan accelerate the work schedule for construction on the Caspian segment of the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fibre optic cable network, via the Siyazan (Azerbaijan) - Aktau (Kazakhstan) route, according to Jalil Jafarov, the head of the International Relations and Calculations Center of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies, in Astana on 13 November.
During a meeting on 12 November, Azerbaijan initiated a tender for bids on the project, and also proposed developing a feasibility study of the project.
Jafarov said that the final decision on further activities will be made after the next meeting, which will be held in Baku during the thirteenth International Exhibition and Conference of BakuTel 2007, running through 21 to 24 November. The interested parties will then adopt a detailed plan, and a relevant agreement will be signed.
The sides have a previous existing arrangement, signed by the operators of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the Center of International Relations and Calculation of the Azerbaijani Ministry and KazTransCom of Kazakhstan, respectively. In accordance with this document, 50% of project expenses will be covered by Azerbaijan and 50% by Kazakhstan.
According to estimates given in 1999, the cost of construction for the communications cable via the sea is $10mln. Jafarov said that the budget of the project might increase. The final budget will be defined through the tender agreement.
The length of the route between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan will comprise approximately 380km. At present, the existing route runs via Turkmenistan and Iran, bypassing Azerbaijan.
According to the Azerbaijani Communications Ministry, construction of the TAE cable through Azerbaijan will lead to reducing routes by 2,000km, and will accelerate the data delivery traffic speed.