Tehran, Iran, October 24
By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:
Iran hopes to receive a $1.8 billion line of credit from a Chinese investor by January over the electrification of the Tehran-Mashhad railroad, the CEO of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Said Mohammadzadeh, told a press conference October 23, Trend correspondent reported from the event.
The railroad connects the capital city of Tehran to Mashhad, a tourist hub with 3 million population in the northeastern part of the country.
An agreement to finance electrification of the 926 km Tehran – Mashhad main line was signed by China EximBank on July 25. Iran’s Bank of Industry & Mine will act as the Iranian government’s guarantor.
The 25 kV 50 Hz electrification project forms part of a program to upgrade the route to raise the maximum speed from 160 km/h to 200 km/h, reduce journey time from 12 h to 6 h and increase capacity to 33 million passengers and 10 million tons of freight per year by 2032.
Planning for the electrification has been underway since 2012. In June 2014, a contract to install and maintain overhead equipment and procure 70 locomotives was awarded to a consortium of Chinese companies - China National Machinery Import & Export Corp and SU Power - and local industrial group MAPNA.
The overall cost is now put at $2.56 billion, of which two-thirds would be financed by the Chinese government at low-interest rates and one-third would be covered by China Export & Credit Insurance Corp.