YEREVAN, August 7. / ARKA /. The Armenian government has approved Thursday a provisional program for the construction of the Southern Railway connecting Armenia with Iran. Minister of Transport and Communications, Gagik Beglaryan, said at the cabinet session the decision was based on preliminary data of a feasibility study of the project.
The Dubai-based Rasia FZE Investment Company was granted in 2012 by the Armenian government a 50-year concession to build and manage the 305-kilometer railway from Armenia to Iran, to be named the Southern Armenian Railway (SAR).
Joseph Borkowski, the chairman of Rasia FZE Investment Company, said earlier that the project was estimated to cost some $3.2 billion.
The high cost of the project is explained by mountainous terrain through which it is supposed to pass. Specifically, it will have 19.6 km-long 64 bridges and 60 tunnels of 102.3 kilometres. The railway is to run from Gagarin station in Armenia’s Gegharkunik province to Agarak in southern Syunik and may transport up to 25 million cargos a year.
According to an Armenian government statement, the Southern Armenia Railway will create the shortest transportation route from the ports of the Black Sea to the ports of the Persian Gulf and establish a major commodities transit corridor between Europe and the Persian Gulf region. -0-