Tbilisi, Baku see railway completed in late 2014

Due to technical and administrative delays, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be fully commissioned by late 2014, Deputy Head of the Azerbaijan Railways JSC Gurban Nasirov told reporters on 13 June. “Currently, the works under the project run on schedule and the construction work is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2013. During 2014, we will conduct start-up and adjustment operations, solve organizational and administrative issues,” Nasirov said.

As for a slight delay in the timing of the project, Nasirov said that the delay is linked with the technical and administrative issues over the construction of the tunnel at the Georgian-Turkish border. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being built in accordance with an inter-governmental agreement reached by Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The railway will increase the flow of containers and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe. Its throughput capacity will peak at 17 million tonnes of cargo per year. Initially, the capacity will be 6.5 million tonnes of consignments and one million passengers.

Azerbaijan has allocated a loan worth $775 million for the construction of the Georgian section of the railway. Funding for the project from the State Oil Fund is carried out in accord with the 2007 presidential decree on taking measures within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway transport corridor project includes construction of Kars-Akhalkalaki branch with a length of 98 kilometres, of which 68 kileomters will lay through Turkey while 30 kilometres – through Georgia. The 183 kilometres section of the Marabda-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi railway in Georgia will be reconstructed to increase capacity to 15 million tonnes of cargo a year. It is also planned to build a station for transition from the existing train tracks in Georgia to the European one in Akhalkalaki. It is expected that each year 30 million tonnes of cargo will be transported by a new railway line, which has direct access to the European rail network.

The Transport Ministry of Azerbaijan said the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will allow increasing the flow of goods, in particular containers, bulk and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe.

Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili said in May the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is one of the most important projects for Georgia.


Source : Neurope

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