YEREVAN, February 24. /ARKA/. The project of North-South transport corridor via Azerbaijan contains certain geostrategic risks, president of Rasia FZE Joseph Borkowski told reporters.
“You know about Azeris living in the north of Iran and Azerbaijan’s attitude toward them; part of the road should go through Dagestan”, he told a press conference Friday.
Borkowski also said having two railroads, East-West and North-South, going through Azerbaijan will lead to reduction in freight traffic through Black Sea ports in Georgia and affect the future of the railway via Abkhazia.
Apart from the Armenian and Azerbaijani projects, there are two more competing railway projects that are part of North-South international transport corridors – via Kazakhstan and through Caspian Sea, Borkowski said.
According to him, the project of the road via Kazakhstan is the longest and the most difficult one, which makes it the leas competitive among the projects. The transport corridor through Caspian Sea will use both land and sea traffic.
Borkowski said the Southern Armenia Railway project is of strategic importance as it will help overcome consequences of the blockade and will make the North-South international transport corridor between the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea complete.
Construction of the Southern Armenia Railway costing $3.2 billion may start already in 2016 and will take up to 6 years. The 300km railway will include bridges, 60 tunnels and 27 stations.
Rasia FZE have conducted the feasibility study for the projects from their own funds.
Expected freight turnover at the railway from Gagarin station (Gegharkunik Marz) to Agarak (Siunik Marz) is 25 million tons per year.
A tripartite memorandum of understanding was signed between Rasia, South Caucasus Railway, and the Ministry of Transport and Communication of the Republic of Armenia back in January 2013.
The Southern Armenia Railway is set to be a 316km long electrified single track railway, which will connect Gavar, near Lake Sevan, to the southern border of Armenia by Meghri and will be integrated with the existing central railway system of the Republic of Armenia.
Rasia FZE and Rasia Group, Rasia Management LLC, Southern Armenia Railway Pte Ltd., and Southern Armenia High Speed Road Pte Ltd. are members of the "Rasia" group of investment and investment management companies based in Dubai, UAE, the Cayman Islands, Armenia and Singapore. Rasia is involved in direct principal investments and investment management primarily in mining and strategic infrastructure. The company has a 30-year concession for the Southern Armenia Railway, with a provision for extension for another 20 years. ($1=412.81drams). –0--