Weekly economic review
A ceremony of commencement of construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which is to unite the transport systems of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey has been postponed to early October, the Azerbaijani Railway announced on 11 September. Earlier, the event due in Georgia was scheduled for 20 September.
The Azerbaijani Government said that some issues concerning the project have not been resolved.
The Azerbaijani Railway said that a contractor company on the project in Georgia is yet to be defined. The company is expected to be determined by the end of September and afterwards a relevant ceremony will be held.
Azerbaijan allocated a $200mln credit to Marabda-Kartzakhi Railway for 25 years with 1% interest rate. Credit will be repaid at the expense of the funds received from exploitation of the railway. The total amount of the first installment is $40mln.
In accordance with tender terms Marabda-Akhalkalaki-freight railway (width-1,520mm) will provide transportation for 15mln tons of freight. The seismological durability of the railway is 8-magnitude.
The project will envisage the energy supply of the railway, the establishment of adequate communication systems, including fibre-optic cable, as well as the projection of all attendant infrastructures.
Financing of the projecting work will be held by Marabda-Kartsakhi Railway LLC. The successful in the tender must be able to submit the project in stages by 1 July 2008. Construction of the railway section is planned to begin in 2008 to be completed in 2010.
The Baku- Tbilisi-Akhalkalaki- Kars project includes the construction of 105km-railway road with 76 km section running via Turkey and 29 km section via Georgia.
Moreover, 183 km section of Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway will be also reconstructed to improve the carrying capacity to 15mln tons of cargo per year. The project is assessed at $422mln and taking into account the infrastructure - $600mln
In February Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, beyond disagreement by Washington, under Armenian diaspora impact, signed a trailteral agreement and held talks with Kazkahstan on its joining to the project on the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. It was a historical step, demonstrating a model of coprtaion to the world. Folwing the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline it is the third regional project for its capacity.