August 5, 2011 - 18:03 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, linking territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, will be completed in 2012, according to Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development of Georgia Ramaz Nikolaishvili.
The completion of a railway station construction in Akhalkalaki, a city on the south of Georgia, is expected on the same time.
“This project is important for development of Georgian infrastructure. In a short period of time, cargo from China will be delivered to European markets by transit through Georgia,” Nikolaishvili said.
A decision of state to grant Georgia additional $575 mln. worth long-term credit to complete construction of a new railway Baku-Tbilisi-Kars was adopted in May 2011. On last week-end, a sitting of bilateral Coordination Council took place in Azerbaijan on which $316 mln. worth budget of construction works for 2011 was confirmed.
“Construction of Akhalkalaki railway station will start within three weeks. The station will be built by the design of a well-known German Architect Jürgen Mayer,” it is said in the Ministry’s report.
Besides the station’s construction, the additionally allotted amount will be directed at construction, rehabilitation and re-construction of a railroad segment of Tetritskaro-Akhalkalaki, as well as at construction of necessary infrastructural objects.
In 2007, Azerbaijan has already granted Georgia $200 mln. loan for financing construction and rehabilitation of the Georgian segment of the railroad. Including the new credit, the total loan amounts to $775 mln. The loan will be redeemed at the expense of earnings from railway operation. Construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is implemented based on international agreement signed between Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. New railway will stimulate increase of goods turnover and quick transportation of goods from Asia to Europe, as reported by the Georgian Ministry of Infrastructure.
In the framework of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project, it is planned to construct a new 105 km long branch of the railway, 76 km of which will pass through the territory of Turkey, while 29 km through the territory of Georgia.
Moreover, the 183 km long segment of Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway in Georgia is under reconstruction aimed to increase shipping capacity up to 15 mln. tons of goods annually. Also, in Akhalkalaki, it is planned to build a transit point for moving trains from Georgian track to European. Turkish side assumed responsibility to finance railway design works.