Artashat-Ashtarak section of North-South corridor to be built by December
YEREVAN, June 10. /ARKA/. Artashat-Ashtarak section of the North-South motor road will be built by December 2014, Armenia’s deputy minister of transport and communication Artur Arakelyan said in the parliament on Monday.
The parliament was discussing the loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for 60 million euros for construction of Lanjik-Giumry road section on Monday.
The first tranche agreement is in force by December, Arakelyan said expressing confidence the works will be completed by then.
The deputy minister said a total of about $30 million has been already invested in this 70-kilometer Artashat-Ashtarak section.
The loans agreements signed between Armenia and the EDB on November 7 and November 14 envisage a loan worth 60 million euros to the country for construction of 27.47-kilometer section between Lanjik and Giumry. The loan is to be repaid within 30 years and is extended at an annual of 1% on the basis of 0.6% + EUROLIBOR. The loan includes at least 5 tranches, 5 million euros each.
Arakelyan also said the EDB will also provide a 12 million euro grant to mitigate the interest rate. Part of this amount will be spent on measurements and design works at Giumry-Bavra.
Construction works suspended in wintertime have already resumed, the deputy minister said.
The contactor has not fulfilled the quality requirements, which led to a budget execution rate of 40% only, Arakelyan said. Hence, the Armenian side obliged the contractor company to eliminate the violations at their own expense for payments against the services to resume.
In responding to questions in the parliament Arakelyan said the parliament-approved program of the North-South corridor is 700 million euros, and the loans received so far have not exceeded this amount.
The deputy minister said the construction works at this particular section helped obtain valuable experience and new initiatives will be brought up soon, particularly for the road to Georgia.
For the time being the ministry is seeking temporary solutions with no major investments to improve Giumry-Bavra road, the deputy minister said in responding MP Shirak Torosyan’s question about poor condition of this strategic road, which is, among others, used by Armenians of Javakhetia.
The government plans to have a high-class road there within the next several years, and refrains from making large investments now, Arakelyan said.
Chairman of the standing parliament commission on external affairs Artak Zakaryan, in his turn, said the North-South transport corridor will link Armenia to Europe via Georgia and Black Sea and will improve communication between Europe, Caucasus and Asia.
According to Zakaryan, one of the most important objectives of the project is to increase safety, reduce time and costs of traveling and built as n up-to standard road.
On January 14 2010, Armenia’s government approved investment program for construction of the North-South transport corridor and the framework agreements between Armenia and the ADB for $500 million.
The “North-South” Road Corridor links Central Asia and India with Iran, Georgia, Russian Federation and Europe. The corridor passes across Armenia from South to North (Meghri-Kapan-Goris-Yerevan-Ashtarak-Gumri-Bavra), links up with the Georgian road leading to seaports Poti and Batumi (Black Sea) and on toward Russia, CIS and EU. –0--