Baku, Azerbaijan, June 19
Dalga Khatinoglu, Trend:
Two North–South Transport Corridor-related projects in Iran would be inaugurated by September 2017, the General Director of Iranian Railways Saeed Mohammadzadeh told Trend June 19.
He added that Qazvin-Rasht (162 kilometers) section as well as Astara-Astara section (8 km in Azerbaijan’s territory and 2 km in Iran as well as an 82.5-meter railway bridge over Astara River) as part of the International North-South Transport Corridor is projected to be completed by September.
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 6 million tons of cargo per year at the initial stage and 15-20 million tons of cargo in the future.
“The only remaining section of the project in Iran is Rasht-Astara (175 kilometers) segment, which Iran plans to complete in three years, through getting a loan from Azerbaijan. The financial talks continue and the agreement on that is at the final stage,” Mohammadzadeh said.
Rasht-Astara segment would need $1.1 billion worth of investment. Iran and Azerbaijan are negotiating on a $0.5 billion loan.
Mohammadzadeh added that during the last four years, Iran invested $1 billion annually in railroad projects and for next five years, the figure would reach $1.5 to $2 billion annually.
According to him, Iran’s focus is now on boosting railroad transits.
There is another international railroad corridor in the east of Caspian Sea, connecting Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Iran’s Bandar Abbas port in Persian Gulf, which was inaugurated two years ago.
Mohammadzadeh said that during the last year, the capacity of cargo transition from this route reached 3 million tons and the figure would reach its final capacity at 10 million tons per year, after the trains are electrified and some other work carried out.