Azerbaijan ready to contribute to speedy construction of Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.22
By Temkin Jafarov, Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
Azerbaijan is ready to provide necessary support to speed up the construction of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway, Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev said.
He made the remarks during a meeting with Iran's Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development and CEO of Iranian Railways, Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Economy and Industry said on Oct.22.
During the meeting, the sides discussed the development of cooperation in the sphere of transport and speeding up the implementation of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara project which is the part of the North-South transport corridor.
"This project is of great importance for both of the sides and Azerbaijan is ready to provide necessary support in speeding up the implementation of the project," Mustafayev said.
Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei, for his part, said that the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway project is one of the priority transport projects in Iran.
The North-South transport corridor project is aimed at integrating the main transport routes of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway with the length of 375 kilometers is currently the missing link in the North-South transport corridor and it will link the Northern Europe to South-East Asia. It will link the railroads of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.
The construction of Qazvin-Rasht railway with the length of 205 kilometers has already been completed. Its capacity will be equal to 1.4 million passengers and 5-7 million metric tons of cargo per year, according to the preliminary estimates. Some 22 tunnels, 15 bridges will be built on the railway. The construction of 15 tunnels has already been completed.
During the meeting, the Iranian side proposed Azerbaijan to take part in financing the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway, Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend on Oct.22.
CEO of Iranian Railways said that the work on preparing the railroad bed on this section has been completed and intense work is underway.
"The construction of Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railroad has been completed and the official opening ceremony for this railroad will be held in December 2014," he said.
Azerbaijani minister expressed readiness to consider Iran's proposal.
It is planned to commission the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway in early 2015.
The investments in the construction of the North-South corridor will be equal to $400 million.
At the first stage, it is planned to transport six million metric tons of cargo per year via the North-South corridor and further to bring this figure to 15-20 million metric tons of cargo.