YEREVAN, February 21. /ARKA/. Joseph Borkowski, the chairman of Dubai-based Rasia FZE Investment Company, granted in 2012 a 50-year concession by Armenian government to build and manage the 305-kilometer railway from Armenia to Iran, to be named the Southern Armenian Railway (SAR), said today the implementation of this project depends largely on Iran’s position.
Joseph Borkowski met yesterday in Yerevan with Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan to present the final results of a feasibility study of the project estimated to cost some $3.2 billion.
Speaking at a news conference Borkowski said there is a competing project – a railway that may be built from Iranian Kazvin to Azerbaijani Astara. “Iran understands that if it has two competing railways neither will be viable,’ he said.
He said there is another risk –Iran’s refusal to build its portion of the 470-kilometer railway, which would mainly pass through Armenian territory. In such a case Rasia may itself finance the construction of the Iranian section.
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-